24 June 2021
Animal Behaviour student Tammy Wilson has proven, contrary to the popular saying, that on your year in industry, you SHOULD work with children and animals.
Tammy, who is studying the Animal Behaviour and Welfare (Clinical) programme, is spending her placement year with Dodford Children’s Farm – a farm that offers farmyard and animal experiences to disadvantaged children.
“Jobs on the farm are varied and every day is different – especially if the animals decide to cause trouble!”, says Tammy.
“My primary responsibilities are taking care of the animals, but as we are running at reduced capacity due to the pandemic, I have also managed to get some experience in farm maintenance and growing fruit and vegetables.”
When looking at placement options, Dodford stood out to Tammy because “it was a great match for what I wanted – lots of physical work in a peaceful environment.
“I also wanted to increase my confidence in leading groups of children and the variety of animals at the farm was also a big factor too as it allowed me to learn about the husbandry of some animals I would not have normally got the chance to work with.”
Tammy, 21, routinely felt rewarded at Dodford, from seeing the animals enjoying the children’s company to seeing the visitors overcome their fear of animals, but she cites one day as the most rewarding:
“For me, it was the first tour of the farm I did by myself for a nursey group and seeing the kids and adults enjoying it – it was great to know I was doing a good job and it kept me on my toes!”
Tammy loved her placement so much that she nearly changed her mind about what career path she wanted to follow when she graduates from Harper Adams in 2022.
“This year with Dodford changed my previous thoughts about what I want to do when I finish my degree - I am still hoping to go into some sort of dog training but working on a similar type of farm to Dodford is definitely my back-up plan.”
Successful completion of the clinical animal behaviour degree will see Tammy qualify as a Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist, accredited by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB).
When looking at potential universities Tammy, who is training for a series of triathlons, said of Harper Adams that “it just felt like the right place for me – with the peace and quiet of the countryside but also a good social life – Harper had everything I wanted!”
Going into her fourth and final year in September, Tammy says her favourite part of her university experience has been “enjoying the sports and social aspects of Harper with a bunch of wonderful people.”
Tammy also advises all prospective and current students to “get involved in every part of university life and make the most of Harper – it goes far too quickly.”