New college partnership to offer students ‘real world’ experience

A new partnership between Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the James Hutton Institute will put practical skills into the hands of future farmers.

Students studying agriculture at national certificate and degree level at SRUC’s Aberdeen campus will now complete practical classes at the James Hutton Institute’s Glensaugh Research Farm in Aberdeenshire.

The partnership will provide students with hands-on practical experience in a commercial setting, working with sheep, beef cattle and deer.

The classes will help them apply their knowledge in machinery and stock handling in a real-world context.

The collaboration is the latest partnership between the two major research institutes. SRUC and the James Hutton Institute already work together on research, events and providing PhD opportunities.

SRUC’s North Faculty currently teaches around 100 agricultural students across its national certificate and degree level courses. SRUC also offers Masters level courses and promotes routes for students to progress through different levels of qualifications.

Philip Wrigglesworth, SRUC’s North Faculty agriculture team leader, said: “This new partnership between SRUC and the James Hutton Institute will enhance our teaching of practical farming skills and help students into employment and throughout their careers.

We are grateful to the James Hutton Institute for the opportunity to work together. We share a common goal of putting research and theory into practice to benefit future food production and animal welfare.

Professor Deb Roberts, director of science at the James Hutton Institute, added: “Glensaugh Research Farm has long been used to test new products and demonstrate innovative land management practices.

“The fact that the farm is now also being used for educational purposes, to help train the next generation of farmers, is fantastic and evidence of the real benefits of collaboration across the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Institutes ( tSEFARI).”