Reaseheath College laid host to the UK’s first training course for the latest robotic milking machine created by leading manufacturer Lely.

The course, coordinated by Agricultural Engineering Lecturer Mike Cullen, was the first time Lely’s Astronaut A5 milking robot had been seen in the UK since its official launch at the company’s headquarters in Holland last week. Using the latest advances in robotic milking systems. The new high spec machine has been built with the aim of providing stress-free milking for both the farmer and cows. 14 Lely Farm management and technical support professionals were provided with all the necessary information and training on how to install and effectively use the innovative milking machine during the two-day course held in our engineering department, ready to share their expertise with farmers nationwide.

A selection of Reaseheath’s Agricultural Engineering students and apprentices also had the opportunity to watch a live demonstration of the new milking machine and had the chance find out all the latest technological improvements from Lely’s technical support representative, David Blackburn.

Said David: “The training days were great opportunity for our teams to get hands-on experience working with the new machine. Reaseheath staff were very welcoming and the facilities were ideal for sharing best practices with colleagues.

“I particularly enjoyed talking to students about the industry and it was great to see their enthusiasm for sustainable farming.”

Lely has forged strong links with Reaseheath as key members of the Milking Equipment Association (MEA), which has worked with Reaseheath to ensure that milk equipment training meets the needs of its industry, as part of the nationally recognised accreditation programme, Parlour Safe.

Parlour Safe is an accreditation scheme run by the MEA and the Institution of Agricultural Engineers. It is run across four categories from category 1 (no experience) through to category 4 (master technician). It aims to promote best practice across the milking equipment industry through training, and sharing of best practice.

The next collaboration for Reaseheath College and Lely is the MEA and Parlour Safe Conference, taking place on Wednesday 9th May at Arden Hotel, Solihull.

For more details on Parlour Safe courses and the upcoming MEA and Parlour Safe Conference contact or visit