Scandinavian lessons for future farmers

(L-R) Askham Bryan College students Ellis Blades, Stuart Brodie, Tommy Watson and Tommy Stones

(L-R) Askham Bryan College students Ellis Blades, Stuart Brodie, Tommy Watson and Tommy Stones

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An insight into Scandinavian farming and land management is on the horizon for students from Askham Bryan College as they visit Norway as part of their studies.

Eight students, who are taking agriculture and countryside management courses at the York-based college will spend 17 days touring the country, beginning in Oslo.

During their stay they will visit farms and talk to farmers, look at forestry enterprises and countryside management, and will learn about the importance of the Norwegian bio-fuels industry. The group will also visit a school and a university specialising in land-based studies.

The visit is being led by John Wray, the college’s head of agriculture, and is part of the Leonardo programme, a European Union initiative to help improve training, life skills and employability for young people.

Mr Wray said: “The College’s heart lies in providing first class education for the leaders and workforce of the agricultural and countryside sector, and this visit is one of a number that we organise to enhance our students’ learning.

“The visit has a broad spectrum and includes social and cultural elements too. In terms of farming, the Norwegian model is significantly different to the UK’s where we are perhaps more commercially focused. There, businesses tend to be smaller, farmers often have a second career, and diversifications are very much in evidence.

“Our students will have the chance to see some of those diversifications, look at environmental initiatives including a bio fuel centre, and at forestry management and timber production too.” Last month Askham Bryan was announced as the country’s largest land-based college in terms of student numbers and recently announced a £34m development programme which will see a state of the art animal management centre with a wildlife and conservation park and improvements to the student and teaching accommodation and to the College’s home farm.

It provides education and training at all levels from introductory courses for school leavers up to honours degrees.

The full and part time further and higher education courses include agriculture, horticulture, forestry and arboriculture, countryside management, sport, engineering, equine and animal management.

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