Writtle sees big shift towards students from non-farming background taking agricultural degrees

Writtle University College agricultural fields.

Writtle University College agricultural fields. - Credit: Archant

An agricultural college is hailing a big shift in attitudes to farming careers following a trend towards students from non-farming backgrounds studying the subject.

Over the past six years, most students studying for an agricultural degree at Writtle University College had little or no previous experience of farming, it says.

Course leader Dr Nicola Blackie said it was a growing trend. “Agriculture is now considered to be more science-orientated than it once was and the latest developments in areas such as technology make it a hugely appealing subject area for college and university students,” she said. “It is estimated that the industry needs an additional 60,000 people between 2010 and 2020 and employment opportunities are available in roles with advisers and suppliers, as well as buyers and processors, which all need a firm understanding of the industry.”