Integrating Reaseheath students into our project work is a fundamental part of what we do through RADA, with the aim of developing the next generation of leaders in sustainable husbandry. We have had a number of projects running with students from FE and HE taking part.
Throughout December we had four students with us, supporting our projects. The Countryside students shadowed FES advisers Nicola Hall, Jane Atkinson, Rachel Price and Helen Rowley on farm visits covering a wide range of topics ranging from diffuse pollution to habitat creation. They helped conduct farm walkovers to identify possible sources of pollution into watercourses, learnt how to take soil samples and helped inspire farmers on the benefits of habitat creation. A particularly good day was planting Black Poplar tree saplings, a nationally important tree due to its rarity. One of the students Ella (pictured below, left) said “RADA provided me with an inspiring work placement, I loved being out on farms and have decided to pursue a career in this sector”.
We know that shared resources will be most effectively sustained through joint management. Fundamental to this principal is partnership working. Reaseheath has been working with United Utilities and the Environment Agency to improve quality of drinking water in our canals. Pesticides (especially metaldehyde) are difficult and costly to remove. Our aim is to reduce the pollution at the source by working closely with farmers and landowners in the Llangollen Canal Safeguard Zone.
Ensuring our students are equipped to enter into industry, ‘Food, Drink & Agricultural Group of the Chartered institute of marketing sponsored an event for third year students titled ‘Your Future in Agriculture & Food Question Time’ on the 1st December 2016. The students had the opportunity to ask the five strong panel key questions of what industry was looking for from students finishing this year. John Giles, Chair of CIM’s Food, Drink and Agricultural Group, Richard Ratcliffe, Chair of the Governors, Reaseheath College, Ed Lister, Cheshire Dairy Farmer, Helen Wainwright, NFU Cheshire County Adviser, David Slater, Regional, Business Manager, NWF Agriculture Ltd. Some of the areas covered included; “Use technology to drive the agricultural industry forward, embrace science, be innovative and never stop learning” – this was the key advice given to Reaseheath College students at a ‘question time’ discussion on careers in farming and food production. The event offered valuable advice on the opportunities available in the industry and the attributes employers look for when recruiting. Undergraduates and final year Extended Diploma in Agriculture students took the opportunity to question a panel of experienced advisers from across the supply chain.