Plumpton College welcomes NFU group

03 October 2023

Farmers inside the cattle shed at Plumpton College

NFU members found out how Plumpton College is investing for the future when they attended its annual farm walk in September.

NFU Vice President David Exwood joined fellow farmers and NFU County Adviser Harriet Henrick for the walk, which started with an overview from Principal Jeremy Kerswell and new Farm Manager Rodney Phair.

They outlined the recent investments made in Lambert Farm and the £11 million investment in the college’s new AgriFood Centre, designed in part for events where the industry can come together to meet and share ideas. 

Agricultural students then led the group on a tour, starting with the biosecurity centre and the importance of it when coming on to the farm. The walk also included the pig unit and the dairy.

Plumpton College

The college will be 98 years old this year and has just welcomed 1,400 full time students aged 16 to 18, alongside several thousand part-time students on land-based courses.

The farming operation comprises around 2,000 acres, farmed in conjunction with several landlords. It includes a dairy herd of 240 cows, 100 breeding sows, 300 commercial ewes and 50 Sussex cows.

Rodney explained that he was drawing up an estate plan to make the most of the land and use it for what it is best suited, including land for environmental schemes. This also includes land for future development and access.

After supper, David Exwood gave a briefing on NFU activity. He highlighted the importance of educational units such as Plumpton but also other agricultural infrastructure which the region desperately needs, such as abattoirs and markets to allow people to continue farming.

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