Students learn on the hoof at AgriScot
Eight HNC Agriculture students were chosen to participate in a demonstration that highlighted the importance and benefits of regularly weighing cattle at the recent AgriScot event, sponsored by Quality Meat Scotland.
Gavin Hill, Head of SAC Consulting’s Beef & Sheep team, led the demonstration at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston. The interactive demonstration involved audience participation for the first time. Twelve farmers were chosen on the day to partake and were given a handheld keyboard to answer questions that appeared on the screen.
The students were selected because they showed commitment and performed well in class. This opportunity aided students’ development and allowed them all to gain further experience out with college.
Student Lawrence Martin said: “I’ve only been part of SRUC for a short time while studying HNC Agriculture but it has been as incredible experience. Since having the opportunity to prepare for the AgriScot show, I have learned so much and as a new entrant everything has been very new and exciting.”
The students put in long hour’s outwith their regular timetable, working with lecturer Kim Gilbert and SRUC Oatridge Farm Manager Neil Sutherland.
The selected cattle were unable to walk beside people and had never been haltered or brushed before the students started working with them. This process would normally take six weeks or longer but the students were able to transform the cattle in three weeks to be at a level able to walk haltered in the main arena.
The night before the event the cattle were transported to Ingliston from Oatridge. From there the students prepared the cattle by washing and drying them and additionally helped with the setting up of the area in the main hall.
Gavin and the students were able to have a practice run to trial the interactive technology and let the cattle get used to their surroundings. They then returned for 5am the following morning for a full day of events.
Lawrence added: “It was so much fun to do this with my class-mates and I would love to do it again.”