Two alumni from Harper Adams have been welcomed back to the University – including one who went on to become a Professor in America.
Harper Adams Senior Lecturer, Dr Emma Bleach and Youngstock Manager, Carrie Gauld, hosted the visit to Harper Adams by University of Minnesota Professor Emeritus Hugh Chester-Jones – who, while at Harper Adams, took the NDA and AMBA courses and Bill Jones, who took the NDA and Pig Courses and was the Pig Unit Manager.
Emma explained: “Hugh and Bill are both Harper Adams Alumni having studied the National Diploma in Agriculture and other courses from 1967 to 1970. After completing the pig course, Bill Jones ran the HAAC Pig unit for a few years until he initiated his own sow unit at Manor Farm Pickstock, Newport which he ran successfully for many years.
“Hugh moved to the US in 1975, continuing his education with an Animal Science degree and MS, PhD in Ruminant Nutrition, before joining the University of Minnesota in 1985.
“He has just retired after 35 years leading the research and management at the University Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca, Minnesota initially including dairy research - cows, heifers, and dairy-beef.
“In his last 18 years he developed a particular interest in rearing dairy-bred calves in a contract-raising project with three commercial dairy farms and allied industry which enabled well over 100 cooperative studies of milk and calf starter feeding systems, disseminating the information to farmers, industry stakeholders and the scientific community alike.
“That led to his visit to the Youngstock Unit at Harper Adams University to gain an insight into how the system has changed in the 52 years since he completed his National Diploma.”
Professor Chester-Jones said: “Bill and I spent a very pleasant morning discussing the dairy calf and heifer rearing and research programs at Harper.”
"After an absence of many years I was very impressed with the updated dairy unit at Harper, especially the dedicated dairy youngstock rearing unit. The Holstein/Friesian dairy calves were well-grown, above expectations and the post-weaning group feeding system prior to grazing maintained the quality of the youngstock."