Hartpury College

The latest news and views from Hartpury

Animal and Land 25Mar 2015

Hartpury staff are shepherding stars

Hartpury staff are shepherding stars

Two members of Hartpury College staff have proved their pedigree as super shepherds after clinching cup success.

Mike Ford, who is an agricultural lecturer, and his wife Niki, who works in the transport department, recently won the Midwest Cup at Hereford Market for their ewes and lambs.

The couple, who farm 550 ewes, invite Hartpury Agriculture students to their own farm, giving them the opportunity to see another system of sheep production from Hartpury’s own commercial Home Farm during practical sessions. 

The Fords won first prize at Hereford with their 10 North Country Mules – the class for 10 white faced ewes and lambs.

Mike said: “This was the champion pen and realised a price of £87.50 per sheep. We were thrilled to see all the hard work we have put in rewarded.

“We start lambing at Christmas and lamb 150 ewes in January, 250 ewes in February and 150 ewes in April. Lambing for such a long period means plenty of early mornings and late nights in the lambing shed, so it was a proud moment among our peers taking the Midwest Cup.

“It’s also great that we’re able to cross over the work we do on our own farm with our roles as Hartpury staff. It’s invaluable for the Hartpury students to be able to come to our farm and compare our operation to the one they see on the College farm to give them a wider view of the industry.”

Throughout March, Hartpury students have been helping to welcome this year’s batch of Spring lambs at the college’s new facilities on Okle Clifford Farm, Highleadon.

The students work in groups over eight-hour shifts for each 24-hour period during the season, and their ‘lambing duties’ include checking for triplets, which then have to be separated and paired with foster mothers. They place ewes and their newborn lambs into pens to ensure mothering takes place and monitor the new families’ progress.

Other duties involve continually checking for new lambs, health checks and feeding and tagging the lambs, with all of the data recorded on a computer. All students have access to members of staff to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

18 Oct 2016 Animal and Land

No more tilling – it’s time for direct drilling at Hartpury!

Hartpury Agriculture students had their eyes opened to an alternative approach to sowing the seeds of the future.

17 Oct 2016 Animal and Land

Brexit and beyond –student farmers consider the future of agriculture outside the EU

Hartpury’s student farmers of the future weighed in on the debate and discussions surrounding agriculture in post-Brexit Britain during a talk with local experts.


11 Oct 2016 Animal and Land

Does a harness help make a happy dog? Hartpury research team investigates

What’s the best way to walk your dog? A team of Hartpury researchers have been comparing collars to harnesses to investigate the impact on canine behaviour and comfort.


11 Oct 2016 Animal and Land

Unlocking the secrets of the soil: new technology helps Hartpury’s agricultural innovators dig deep into future of farming

Agricultural technicians have been digging deep on Hartpury’s farms to scan the fields and map the soils; using state of the art technology to ensure that the College can make the most of every inch of the land.