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Cannington Campus

Rodway Farm

At University Centre Somerset, students studying agricultural management - or working with animals - benefit from our on-site, working farm.

Focused around the livestock sector, Rodway Farm has a commercial dairy herd and sheep flock. We have also entered commercial partnerships with companies to develop and explore the latest techniques and technology available. This also enhances the student experience and ensures engagement with the cutting edge technology needed in a commercial farming business. 

The farm has benefitted, in recent years, from a continuous rolling investment programme. To date, developments costing over £1 million have allowed the farm to position itself not only as a leading provider of agricultural training and education, but also as one of the most innovative dairy farms in the region.

Students have daily access to the farm’s exemplar resources through timetabled teaching, together with practical farm duties which take place throughout the year.

Rodway Farm's Dairy Herd

The milking parlour showcases the latest computerised monitoring technology systems that enable maximum reproductive and nutritional performance from the herd. This allows students to monitor individual cow performance on a daily basis. On average our cows produce 9,500 litres of milk per cow per year. Investment in the installation of new cubicles has helped ensure that the farm continues to operate to high welfare standards.

Our Sheep flock

The sheep enterprise currently consists 150 cross-bred ewes and Texel rams. The flock includes Llanwenog ewes which are part of a long term research project with the Llanwenog Sheep Breed Society. The college has a show team of pedigree Texels and students have had successes on the south west show circuit.  Lambing takes place in January to ensure students are involved in the complete cycle of producing finished lambs. 

The use of a computerised recording programme will enables the analysis of different breeds' ability to produce the right conformation and weight of lamb in the shortest time possible. The collection, input and analysis of this data will further involve students and teaching staff.

Cannington Campus Beef Production

A number of Beef sires are used on the Dairy herd for comparison. We have access to a large commercial Beef unit in the village of Cannington for students to gain skills in this sector.

 On-site Arable and Machinery

The land currently used for arable production has a cropping rotation programme in which spring wheat and maize are grown, together with Italian ryegrass and red clover.

Once a basic level of competence has been reached in machinery operations, students go on to utilise the full range of modern equipment used in farm related operations such as ploughing, drilling and mowing, fertiliser application and harvesting. In addition, several hectares are allocated for student trial plots each year.

The current estate management plan enables all students to participate in the maintenance and management of other aspects of the College land, such as fencing, hedge laying, coppicing and dry stone walling.

Other resources include welding and fabrication workshops and laboratories equipped with the latest scientific equipment to give students excellent access to the latest industry standards. We also have a fully equipped Biosecurity Centre which ensures students work to unrivalled standards of disease prevention and control.

Campus Details

Cannington Campus, Rodway Hill, Cannington, TA5 2LS Call 01278 441234 Email info@btc.ac.uk
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