A new University Land-based Centre will ensure Hartpury students continue to drive innovation in agriculture in the UK, according to industry leader Dr Julian Little.
The Communications and Government Affairs Manager for Bayer Crop Science - one of the world's leading crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control - was on hand to cut the ribbon to officially open the new facility with Hartpury Principal, Russell Marchant, on Monday (January 26th).
He had earlier delivered a lecture to students about how European legislation can affect UK agriculture, focusing on the use of pesticides that do not have a detrimental effect on the environment. Other industry leaders were also present for the event, along with Hartpury students, staff and governors.
The new learning space offers stunning views to May Hill and beyond, while a decking area leads out to demonstration crop plots, making it much easier for degree students to take what they learn in the classroom out into ‘the field’.
The first planting will take place this Spring, but Agriculture, Conservation and Sustainable Management students and Animal Science students are already reaping the benefits of their modern new classroom. These degree students previously had lessons in the Farm Common Room portakabin and travelled much further to access outdoor learning.
Dr Little said: “There can often be a disconnect between theory and practice so having this fantastic new facility in the heart of the farm is so important. It is a great resource for the students"
“Bayer works very closely with Hartpury and feels that as an institution, it really makes a difference in giving young people the skills they need to ensure that UK agriculture does things even better in future and opening their eyes to the opportunities available.
"Farmers in the UK are the most innovative on the planet and cultures like Hartpury seal, ensuring that the next generation can continue that innovation. Investing in facilities like this new classroom will ensure that Hartpury maintains its success in developing links with industry and producing graduates that can quickly make their mark within it.”
The first crops to be planted in the crop plots will be wheat, barley, oilseed rape and a variety of grasses. They will be trial plots, with the crops being treated differently to enable the students to learn about optimum growing conditions. The proximity of the crops will enable them to be monitored on a much more regular basis than is currently possible.
Hartpury Principal, Russell Marchant, added: “Agriculture and land studies is part of the Hartpury DNA. Our first students arrived in 1949 when we opened as a farm school for the county and we remain committed to agriculture and other land-based studies.
“This investment will ensure that our degree students have the same opportunities as our college students to access our farm estate with opportunities to apply their learning in the field right on their doorstep.
“This first class facility will help provide our undergraduates with the skills to make them well equipped to tackle the issues facing the industry and ready to hit the ground running in the workplace.”