Two former students to run college's onsite farm

The Wright family will take over the Staffordshire college's onsite farm (Photo: Rodbaston College)
The Wright family will take over the Staffordshire college's onsite farm (Photo: Rodbaston College)

Two former agriculture students who attended Rodbaston College will now manage the college's onsite farm to boost opportunities for existing students.

Matthew and Andrew Wright will run the Staffordshire farm, growing grass, silage and forage maize, and farming beef cattle and sheep.

The father and son duo, who are former Rodbaston students, will run their existing enterprise Dawtry Cottage Farm from the college's farm.

The family brings experience within dairy farming, suckled calf production, beef finishing, and sheep having established their business back in the 60’s at the homestead Dawtry Cottage, located at Four Crosses near Cannock.

The Wrights, who are also the 'face of beef' for retailer Aldi, will share their knowledge with Rodbaston's students, as well as provide work experience and learning opportunities for those aspiring for a career within the sector.

The Wright family said: "The opportunity to farm at Rodbaston College was appealing to us because it is within local proximity to our current farming practices.

"Also, because we know the farmland lends itself to diverse use such as grazing livestock or growing crops – and we like that flexibility."

Claire Boliver, chief executive principal at South Staffordshire College, which owns Rodbaston, said the move would provide a 'wealth of opportunities' for students.

Rodbaston College has been a training and learning facility for over 100 years, with specific expertise in delivering agriculture training.

In 1921 it later became ‘Staffordshire County Farm Institute’, which was described by a ministry report as a 'leader in marking the fullest possible use of the resources of education for the benefit of agriculture'.

Back then the farm was deliberately run on commercial lines, to provide a model for local farmers and workers to visit.

At the same time, trials of new farming techniques, demonstrations of new fertilisers and seed trials were begun.

In 1967 it was later renamed the Staffordshire College of Agriculture, before becoming Rodbaston College in 1994.