“It was awesome- thank you” and “It was brilliant- no improvements could be made” these were just some of the comments made by local students from Westfield Academy and Wadham School following a fantastic day taster day at Rushywood Farm, Crewkerne kindly hosted by Neil Baker.
The day was organised by the Somerset Dairy Careers Project supported by the FACE (Farming and Countryside Education) and the aim was to give participants the chance to take part in activities that gave them an insight into different job roles in the dairy industry. The day had great support from the industry including activities and talks from Synergy Farm Health- foot trimmer and vet; Graham Ragg, Agronomist from Mole Valley Farmers; Rob Mintern, Nutritionist for Charlie King Nutrition, a talk from Bridgwater College- Cannington Centre and support from Farm Manager, Neil Baker throughout the day.
The farm, which milks 1150 cows 3 times a day on a rotary milking parlour with very high welfare standards, was the first choice to show students about the variety of work in the dairy industry and all the elements necessary for milk production. The students had the chance to take part in a range of activities including: milking in the rotary parlour, feed analysis, weighing calves and working out growth rates, soil analysis, talking about crops, machinery and the technology on the farm- all of which link to jobs in the industry.
Laura Milverton Project coordinator said “It is essential that young people are told about the possible career paths that are available in the dairy industry and we feel that the Somerset Dairy Careers Project is very important to get that message across and to help the industry to provide a workforce for the future”
This is the first event of its kind hosted by the Somerset Dairy Careers Project for students and following the positive feedback from the students on the day and the huge support from the education sector and industry representatives, Community Council for Somerset is seeking financial support from local businesses to help secure the longer term future of the project after March 2014.