I am always delighted to see so many of our students developing in confidence and progressing confidently. Through the high quality of our teaching and learning this continues to be one of our greatest strengths, as demonstrated by this month’s diary inputs from our students.
All of the second year students are well on their way with their UCAS applications or planning future employment all of which is being supported by their personal tutor.
Christmas is looming and the cows are in, it’s the end of term and everyone is itching to go home. Although it won’t be all relaxation as there are still assignments to be handed in.
In my recent practical sessions, we’ve been trimming tails, servicing tractors and giving the rams a ‘once over’. At my work placement, I’ve been mastering the telehandler now I’ve got my certificate and as ever giving the scraper tractor a good workout. It's surprisingly warm for the time of year and it comes as a relief as the tractors don’t need de-icing and I’m not trying to unchain gates through thick gloves.
Overall I feel happy at college and I am really appreciating the support I am getting from my tutor. I always feel welcome to have a chat and discuss how I'm feeling which is something that means a lot to me. It's a long way off but I just can't wait until the silage season next year, ground conditions are limiting the amount of field work we can do at the moment to near zero.
We’ve just had the work Christmas party down the pub and the turkey roast went down well, the sticky toffee pudding didn’t survive very long though! I shall be working quite a lot over Christmas but the warm fire and Christmas tree in the living room will be a welcoming sight in the evenings.
During my time at college we have been learning many new skills to further my knowledge within agriculture. During my work experience I have been checking on the sheep’s health twice a day, undertaking TB testing which requires a lot of work and energy and I have been cleaning out the animal pens with the scraper tractor.
I have my next farm work duties coming soon, I will be on parlour duties, which consists of cleaning the teats and milking the animals, the parlour will be cleaned after to keep the area spotless as it is a food producing area. We will be getting our county tractor out for a road run soon so everything will need to look perfect.
We have the Christmas holidays coming up so it will be a time to relax, college is still as good as it was at the start and would highly recommend it to anyone considering it for next year.
The past few weekends I have been back in Devon, I was working for a Christmas shop near Exeter. At the shop, they mainly sell farm grown Christmas trees and open up the farm for the public to look at a variety of different animals including their very own reindeer.
The business was set up out the back of the foot and mouth crisis, they were looking for a diversification project for the farm in order to stay in business. They support the charity 'Send a Cow'. They take donations which pay for equipment and livestock to be sent to those in need in places like Africa. Showing that agriculture is very important and influential to everyone.
It’s that time of the year where everything becomes less busy, the cows are in and the days have become shorter. At college it’s still very busy with my lectures and practical's. In estate skills we have electric fenced the field and moved the sheep.
We went to the Christmas market at Sedgemoor where one of my family members did very well in showing her beef cattle achieving a first. I’m all up to date with my assignments and I’m sure the New Year will be very positive as I move forward to the final stages of my course and I’m very much looking forward to the future with the opportunities my qualification will give me.
Over the last month we have been especially busy in our practical sessions, with my group finishing building a personnel trailer that last year’s mechanisation group started. This means we have over the last few weeks been perfecting (or trying to) our welding skills, both MMA and MIG. For me this is a completely new skill as I have no previous experience in this area. So far we have welded the back of the seats on as well as wheel arches, ensuring they fit perfectly into each space. In order to cut them to exact shape we have been using a plasma cutter as it is the neatest way.
This last week of term marks my supervisory duties, of which I am doing the milking. Then back in January to complete our final term at the college!
So it's the final week of this term before Christmas. I have enjoyed the past month where we have been learning about different types of welding and getting all the machinery ready to be put away for the winter. I am currently looking at different career options for when I leave college next May. I look forward to what the New Year will bring. But it's now time to relax and go back to my home farm or Christmas.