A major land-based college in Warwickshire has enjoyed a bountiful harvest and seen more than double the enrolments it expected for its agriculture course this year.
Moreton Morrell College has seen 29 people start studying on its Level 3 Agriculture course this academic year – more than double the 13 students it expected.
The college, which is part of WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group), has seen a total of 88 students enrolled in its Agriculture, Countryside Management and Land-based studies further education course.
Students enrolled on the agriculture course range from the age of 16 to over 24 years old – as students seek to pursue a career in agriculture.
The majority of the new students are based in South Warwickshire, North Gloucestershire and North Oxfordshire.
Moreton Morrell College covers 650 acres of countryside and has been delivering agricultural education for more than 70 years.
Students on the courses are given the opportunity to support the working 230 hectare commercial farm on site and maintain wildlife habitats including woodlands, wetlands and grasslands.
The Level 3 Agriculture course prepares students for a career in agriculture, with units ranging from business planning and management, to livestock production science and management, environmental sustainability and agricultural crops.
Jack McDill, lecturer at Moreton Morrell College, said this year he has seen more students come on to the course from non-farming backgrounds.
“We have definitely seen a change this year in the background of people coming onto our agriculture course. There is a move away from agriculture being an insular industry,” he said.
“There are more students now from non-agriculture background. I think you can probably trace this back to there being more visibility for agriculture in the media and on television recently.
“Agriculture is changing and there is more technology being introduced at all levels, which is also piquing the interest of perspective students.
“The pandemic has led to more people wanting to working outside and not in offices and that has likely played a part in this lift in enrolment numbers as well.
“We are still seeing people from farming families join us too as they are trained to eventually take on the family business. We’ve welcomed students from Staffordshire, Wiltshire and other further afield counties.
“This year’s group are really enthusiastic and full of questions. They are all learning off each other and tapping into each other’s expertise as they develop into well-rounded agriculture students.”
For more information on the Level 3 Agriculture course at Moreton Morrell College visit www.wcg.ac.uk/study