Cumbria NFU members help next generation of farmers

13 May 2024

Photo of a group of Kendal College students stood outside a barn at Richard Ladds farm in Cumbria

Students from Kendal College were recently given the opportunity to hear from agricultural industry experts at an event held by NFU branch chair, Richard Ladds.

Around 40 students took part in the event at Benson Hall Farm as part of their agricultural course and students heard from an array of industry speakers.

The college has joined up with a number of partner farms throughout Cumbria allowing students access to a range of farming methodologies, breeds and technology. This allows a high-end practical session incorporating industry best practice and high welfare standards to be delivered.

Great to be involved

NFU Kendal branch chair Richard Ladds, who is a mixed farmer, is part of a group of farmers from the area who have teamed up with the college as part of the course.

He said: “It is great to be involved with Kendal College to offer students practical experience on farm.

“On our farm we’re teaching them every aspect of farming, the challenges we face and how we’re using technology to help us analyse how much feed our cattle need for example to produce the litres of milk we put in the tank.

“Ourselves here at Benson Hall alongside lots of other farms throughout Cumbria, are doing this as it is a fantastic opportunity to be able to help out the next generation of farmers and it is good listening to them too – I’ve learnt a few things off them.”

Valuable hands-on experience

Different groups of students visit the farm a couple of times a week gaining valuable hands-on experience. Practical experience includes general livestock and machinery tasks as well as students having the opportunities to gain industry recognised qualifications in quadbike and telehandler use.

Kendal College started the agricultural course in 2021 giving young people from Cumbria and further afield the opportunity to learn about all aspects of agriculture whilst gaining qualifications.

The college has currently 180 students aged 16 to 18 studying both fulltime agriculture courses and apprenticeships.

Richard Gardiner from Kendal College said: “We are extremely grateful to each and everyone of our partner farms and allied industry partners who are helping us to deliver high-end education to the future generation of farmers of Cumbria and beyond.

“This type of on farm experience and the work we do to help educate young people we believe leaves the future of the British agriculture sector in safe hands.”

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