Neil Roberts, John Platt Travel Scholarship  award winner.

Neil qualifies as Cow Signals trainer thanks to £2,000 scholarship

Read how the John Platt Travel Scholarship help Neil Roberts progress in his career…

Chris Cromar and lamb 1MB

Trying my hand at lambing!

“Hi, I’m Chris Cromar and I’m a Level 2 Diploma in Agriculture student.

I come from an arable farm in Northumberland, and although I’m hoping to stay with cereals, I was really keen to try my hand at lambing.

Here’s what happened during my first experience in the lambing sheds.

I’d only been on duty for half an hour when I delivered my first lamb! It really opened my eyes to a different aspect of farming. Dealing with livestock is something I don’t have much experience in and it was really rewarding knowing that I’d brought a new lamb into the world.”

Owen Steve Small AndySarah with new cows lighter 1mb

Reaseheath Holsteins welcomes new bloodlines

Reaseheath College has purchased 33 new pedigree Holstein heifers to help secure the long term performance of the college’s elite dairy herd.

The freshly calved heifers, which have been imported from 12 guaranteed TB free breeders in northern Germany, have been genetically selected to raise the levels of fat and protein in the herd’s milk without adversely affecting its volume.

It is the first time that Reaseheath has bought in dairy cows since its purchase of the Genus MOET high genetic merit herd in 2010 and the arrival of the new cows is viewed as a significant milestone.

Kate Bowen, XL Vets explains the principles of biosecurity to delegates on Reaseheath farm

Farmers and vets unite to protect animals from bovine TB

The latest agricultural knowledge transfer event held on campus focused on the tools farmers need to prevent the introduction of diseases such Bovine TB (Tuberculosis) into a herd.

Chris Mann square

Forklift training centre celebrates 2000th customer!

Reaseheath’s forklift truck and telescopic handler training centre welcomed its 2000th trainee to the college last week. The centre, managed by Chris Mann delivers a range of training courses in the operation of forklifts and material handling equipment (MHE).

Chris Mann square

Chris Mann

Our newest recruit will follow in the footsteps of industry professionals, members of the public and over 600 Reaseheath students who have successfully completed their training, accredited by RTITB – the largest forklift truck training provider in the UK and Ireland.

Chris, who joined Reaseheath in 2009 launched the college’s first accredited forklift truck training centre after just 6 months as work based learning assessor. Initially funded through the European Social Fund and Learning and Skills Council (LSC), the centre was set up to help the local community gain a useful qualification to make them more employable. Chris is also qualified to deliver training at companies’ own premises.

Now in its seventh year of delivering the nationally recognised RTITB qualifications, our training offer continues to go from strength to strength. The college has seen notable organisations including John Deere and Telford International Centre pick Reaseheath as their chosen training provider. Also, three members of the set up team from the London 2012 Olympic Games gained their MEWP (cherry picker) licences with us.

RTITB accredited trainer Chris Mann said: “It makes me proud to see how the training has helped so many people gain access to employment in the industry. Gaining an accredited licence really does makes people more employable and I’m looking forward to continuing to develop our training offer with ever evolving technology.”

Find out more about our forklift and rough terrain telescopic handler training opportunities at:

  •  RTITB forklift truck and telescopic handler training provides a nationally recognised qualification which also provides proof of training for the employer which is a legal necessity to operate any machine.
Agriculture students joined by course manager Graham Ashford at the British Cattle Breeders Club Conference

Conference offers industry insights for agriculture students

Agriculture students joined by course manager Graham Ashford at the British Cattle Breeders Club Conference

Agriculture students joined by course manager Graham Ashford at the British Cattle Breeders Club Conference

A recent trip to the British Cattle Breeders Club Conference proved a great experience for a group of Reaseheath agriculture students.

Our first year Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture cohort had the opportunity to hear from a range of speakers  at the Telford based conference,  primarily focusing on beef production.

The first speaker, Yorkshire Dairy Goat’s Managing Director, Daivd Alvis, explained how his goat milking business provided him with a blue print (bioinformatics) for using data to analyse the performance of his Stabiliser beef herd.

Farmer Stuart Roberts went on to present his predictions the future landscape of beef breeding, drawing on his experiences in the industry and making reference to his own Stabiliser herd. Stuart described beef as the ‘best quality protein that people aspire to’ and that the ‘ruminant was the greatest way of turning cellulose into protein’.

The third session saw students gain an insight into cattle genotyping and discussion was held around the impact this would have on traceability. Dean Holroyd (Group Technical and Sustainability Director, ABP) spoke about improving carcass trait measurement using virtual imaging, followed by a PhD student who talked about developments in pen-side fluke infestation diagnosis in cattle and sheep, so that animals could be individually dosed according to individual fluke infestation levels.

After lunch AHDB’s Kim Matthews delivered a presentation about improving the eating quality of beef, with students picking up tips on ‘getting it right at every stage between production, processing and consumption’. The final sessions of the day focused on breeding strategies for TB resistance including a presentation from the Director of farm animal veterinary practice, Lambert, Leonard and May, Den Leonard, who spoke from ‘a vets perspective’ on approaches towards eradicating the disease.

All in all, it was a great learning experience and one which the students very much appreciated the opportunity of attending.


Reaseheath agriculture students joined by lecturer James Bickerton

Stock judging success for Reaseheath students

Two teams of Reaseheath agriculture students secured top marks for stock judging in the East of England Smithfield Festival 2015.

Reaseheath agriculture students joined by lecturer James Bickerton

Reaseheath agriculture students joined by lecturer James Bickerton

The festival, held in Peterborough, saw students compete in the ‘College Challenge’, a cross-college stock judging competition, open to all educational establishments running land-based courses.

22 teams from 12 land-based colleges entered the competition, including Newton Rigg, Askham Bryan, Moulton, Hartbury, Bishop Burton, Easton and Otley amongst others.

Students Libby Turner, Charles Hodgson and Will Thomas triumphed overall taking first place, with our other student team including Matthew Kidd, Dieter Kayley , Tom Hull and James Hodgkinson securing a very respectable 3rd place.

The students judged breeding heifers, finished lambs, breeding ewes and lamb carcases, along with a silage and feed competition.

The teams were supported by lecturer James Bickerton and Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture student, Eden Grey, who was team mascot, stand in lecturer, team organiser, advisor and great all round support on the day.

Ireland study tour 2015

Study tour 2015

Level 3 subsidiary diploma in agriculture students have just returned from their study tour in Ireland. The focus of the trip has been dairy and beef research.

During the jam-packed week students had the opportunity to visit Teagasc Kildalton College, Moorepark Research Centre and a 300 cow greenfield research farm in County Kilkenny along with a host of other sites. The group even had chance to stop off at one of Dublin’s landmark factories – Guinness Storehouse!

A few highlights from the week…

agric tour





If this all looks like fun, why not find out more about studying agriculture at Reaseheath by visiting the College website.