Enterprise & Development

The Enterprise and Development Team is based at the Walford Campus. The team is responsible for coordinating our overseas projects, including the Erasmus+ Project. For more information about this project, contact Phil Ridley, Enterprise & Development Manager via p.ridley@nsc.ac.uk or call 01939 262154.

Erasmus+ Case study

Megan Rogers: 

Megan Rogers attended an Erasmus+ funded work experience trip to Finland for two weeks. She traveled with the group from Manchester to Ilmajoki, via Amsterdam, with a group of 8 students and 2 members of staff. Most of the students spent most of the two weeks working on different farms, but Megan was placed on a large dairy and arable farm along with another student.
The farm was well known in the area of South Ostrabothnia and the farm owners were very involved in one of the largest Dairy co-operative’s in Finland, Valio. They were also involved in the farmers union and other farming related bodies in Finland so Megan was well placed to learn about Finnish agriculture, and the dairy industry in particular in Finland and the Owner was very happy to educate the students about the dairy industry in Finland. Whilst at the placement they visited the Valio dairy factory and other small businesses connected to agriculture, such as a cheese producer and local farmers markets. Megan lived in with the farm owners as part of the family and felt very comfortable there very quickly; so much so that she missed being there during the middle weekend when she returned to the college in Ilmajoki to meet up with her fellow students!
However, during this weekend, she  did enjoy a visit to a Nordic Zoo where she saw examples of wolves, bear, reindeer, moose and geese, just to name a few. She also attended a traditional Finnish evening, which involved playing frisby golf and other traditional Finnish games as well as a sauna and dip in a very cold lake, followed by a traditional Finnish meal. Another excursion was to the largest Finnish shopping centre in Finland, in the middle of nowhere, which receives more visitors a year than the population of Finland!
The farm consisted of about 150 cows, a very large herd by Finnish standards, which were milked by robotic milkers, they also had robotic slurry scrapers and robots to push the feed up in front of the cattle. This allowed the farm workers to spend more time actually looking after the cows.  Bio security was very strict; Megan had to take wellingtons and overalls that were brand new. This was to ensure that Salmonella was not brought into the country, as Finland is Salmonella free. Finland also produces the cleanest milk in Europe and is in high demand; this gave Megan an insight into the cleaning routines that go towards keeping these high standards.
She was also surprised to discover that vets carry out all treatments of the animals, and the use of antibiotics is specific to the bacteria identified in any bacterial illness. The use of broad spectrum antibiotics is very limited, if it is used at all. Megan was also surprised to learn that the price per litre of milk was higher, but the yield per lactation per cow was considerably less than in the UK.
At the end of two weeks Megan felt a lot more confident about travelling to different countries and experiencing different cultures and systems of farming that she has mentioned that she would like to join the trip to New Zealand in 2017 and she would recommend taking part in the work experience trip to anyone considering it.

Funded Farmer Placements 

We are currently taking groups of farmers to Italy and Sweden to learn more about different farming and farm business practices. The visits will be wide reaching and varied, looking at examples of different farmer businesses, products and markets including processing and adding value to your existing products.

More information about Funded Farmer Placements can be found below, or by contacting Katie Edwards, Business and Community Development Officer, on 01939 262154 or via k.edwards@nsc.ac.uk

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