Diane Tanner, MSc Applied Poultry Science
Diane Tanner, MSc Applied Poultry Science (pass with merit) – Ayr via distance learning
Diane Tanner, who lives on a smallholding near Brecon in South Wales, has just graduated with an MSc Applied Poultry Science seven years after starting an HNC course at SRUC.
“It all started with a handful of chickens, an obsession to know more about them and the excitement of exhibiting.”
Diane Tanner’s interest in poultry started with a handful of chickens that she rehomed from the British Hen Welfare Trust in 2010.
A year later, she bought a cockerel and decided to take him to a show – where he won his class.
Having been bitten by the showing bug, she increased her flock, buying some German Langshan bantams and a turkey hen, which she also started showing.
The 57-year-old, who lives on a smallholding near Brecon in South Wales, has just graduated with an MSc Applied Poultry Science seven years after starting an HNC course at SRUC.
She now breeds and shows bantam German Langshan chickens and Crollwitzer and Slate turkeys and has won Champion Turkey at the Poultry Club of Great Britain National Show for six years running.
“It all started with a handful of chickens, an obsession to know more about them and the excitement of exhibiting,” she said.
She came across an advert for SRUC’s HNC Poultry Production course in the Practical Poultry magazine, which is taught via distance learning.
Having passed with distinction and won the best student prize, she still hadn’t satisfied her craving for poultry knowledge so decided to do some of the modules offered as part of the Masters course.
“Here I am five years later having completed them all,” she said. “I have learnt so much – and not just about poultry.
“I really liked the recorded lectures, I listened to them over and over again. For me, they certainly worked far better than reading the lecture notes.
“The regular online meetings were also really helpful and much appreciated. I always felt very grateful to the lecturers for giving up their time in the evenings for these meetings.
“Distance learning can be a lonely place – totally different to being able to discuss assignments with fellow students. This is where the induction weekends were great as they provided an opportunity to meet with others on the course.”
While she admits there were challenges along the way, she said: “Anything worth having needs to be challenging. If it came easily, it wouldn’t be such an achievement.”
Having finished her course, Diane says she will now have to find other ways of increasing her poultry knowledge.
She also says that while she did the course for enjoyment rather than with a career change in mind, she would consider applying if the right poultry-related job became available locally.
In the meantime, she has plenty to keep her busy on the smallholding and in her role as breed club secretary for the German Langshan Club.