Staff and students from a local agricultural college had an exciting opportunity to contribute towards BBC Radio Cornwall’s live broadcast at their ‘Future Farm’ research facility.
The £4-million farm at Duchy College Stoke Climsland is at the forefront of the next evolution of environmental farming, and was the chosen location for a live radio programme.
The show focused on the future of farming in Cornwall, highlighting the role of technology in driving the industry forward.
Venetia Summers, head of campus, discussed the importance of working with local businesses to address some of the issues faced by the industry: “Our staff and students are passionate about the industry they work in, so the main role for us as a college is to fill the skills gap that currently exists in agriculture, and work with local employers to fill that gap.”
Working in agriculture for several decades, farm manager, Duncan Elliott, expressed his perspective on the future of farming in Cornwall: “Everything we put into the cow, and everything coming out of the cow has value for something, so we’re adapting to research and pass-on that knowledge to students, the future generation of farmers.”
With 22 years of experience in managing and running medium to large scale dairy farms, Ed Parrish, director of land-based operations at Stoke Climsland and Bicton, reflected on working with livestock, and seeing the students progress: “It’s amazing to see our learners coming to the college for the first time, going through their studies, and then seeing them graduate and succeed in their chosen careers – it’s why we do what we do.”
Herd manager, Caitlin Hancock, shared her farming experiences and thoughts on working in farming, emphasising, “there’s definitely a place for women in agriculture”,
“When I was a student, the number of girls on my course was pretty low, but ten years later there’s been a drastic increase in female learners choosing land-based studies.”
The broadcast was a great opportunity for Future Farm to showcase their innovative approach to farming and share their insights on the future of the industry in Cornwall.
Robin Jackson from the Rural Business School, RBS, spoke of their specialist team undertaking Farm Net Zero research, consultancy and knowledge exchange with industry, academia and government.
Meanwhile, Ginny Knight, first year FdSc Agriculture student, was amongst the student interviewees, she expressed, “I always enjoyed being outside, working with cows and learning about the different farming methods.”