Otley: School pupils given insight into how to run a farm

SCHOOL pupils were given an insight into how to run their own farm business at an event run by Otley College

Otley College worked in partnership with the Suffolk Education Business Partnership (EBP) and several local companies to help champion the agricultural cause through the eductional event.

The event – called the F-Factor – saw learners from Debenham, Denes, Leiston, Saxmundham Middle and Sir John Leman take part in an educational farming game.

Businesses supporting the event were East Feast, Easton College, Frontier Agriculture, the Suffolk Agricultural Association, Hollowtrees Farm and Ipswich Building Society. The event itself was sponsored by the Felix Cobbold Trust. Around 60 students from five Suffolk Schools attended.

A team from Saxmundham received the top prize and received Suffolk Show tickets. Debenham won a day at Hollowtrees farm for creating the most entrepreneurial farm.

The learners worked with industry experts, Otley staff, an event management student from University Campus Suffolk– as they created a fictitious business plan for a farm.

The occasion was devised by the college and the Suffolk Education Business Partnership (EBP) ‘with the aim of engaging youngsters and showing them the benefits of a career working within in an industry that can be creative, diverse and incredibly rewarding,’ said Helen Walker from Otley College.

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“Currently, the average age of farmers in the UK is in between 55 and 60 according to a survey by the National Farmers Union (NFU), therefore it is essential that we try and get the message out to youngsters that working in the farming industry is incredibly exciting.”

“We are delighted to be working with Otley again,” said Jenni Carberry from the EBP.

“Our aim is to work with industry and education to highlight the value of a range of different career options and we are very lucky to work with industry professionals who are willing to give up their time for these events. We are also very grateful to the Felix Cobbold Trust for sponsoring.”

“Last year this event seemed to make a real impact with the schools who attended and this year’s event did the same.”