Reaseheath’s agriculture students have been helping to bring in our silage crop using £1.85 million worth of highly sophisticated machinery on loan from leading manufacturers and suppliers.

Agriculture and agricultural engineering students from our Level 2 and 3 Diploma programmes jumped at the opportunity to work alongside our experienced lecturers and have been developing the operating skills and confidence which employers require.

Taking the place of contractors, the student team were hands-on in harvesting a very heavy first cut in excess of 1500 tonnes from 170 acres over three days, taking part in the whole process from field to clamp.

The rare privilege was due to our close industry partnerships, in particular with Malpas Tractors and Kuhn UK, which supplied state-of-the-art machinery straight from show room. In return both companies benefitted from a demonstration day for prospective customers on our farm. This allowed farmers to see the machinery in operation and to try it out themselves before making a decision to purchase.

Other companies which provided a range of tractors, trailers and other equipment for our silaging operation included Cheshire Farm Machinery, RVW Pugh Ltd, J K Ashbrook Ltd and Stamford Agricultural Services.

Reaseheath College has 191 acres of owned and rented land which provides grazing for our dairy youngstock and commercial sheep flock and fields for grass fodder and maize and cereal crops.

The home grown silage is mixed and stored on site and feeds our dairy herd of 220 high yielding Holsteins plus 180 followers. The next cut will be used to produce high quality large bale haylage and we also plan to run a bespoke project which will create small bale haylage for our equine and animal management departments.

Farm Manager Ed Parrish said: “This has been an incredible experience for our students which has allowed them to develop correctly and safely the skills they will need for their future careers. It has also created happy memories of working as a team to deliver a top quality job, which is part of the whole Reaseheath experience.

“I’d like to thank all our industry partners for their support in making this happen, and lecturers Mark Biddulph, Chris Wardle, Andy Prince and Dave Shardlow for leading the teams.”