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    New qualification for dairy farmers to be delivered by Harper Adams

    Posted 23 February 2011

    Pictured are front row L-R Alison Pyatt, Animal Science Lecturer with Sophie Throup, FarmSkills Manager at XLVets. Back row L- R are Phil Alcock, Farmskills Founder, Liz Warr, Curriculum Development Advisor for the REEDNet project and Carwyn Ellis, Head of the Animals Department at Harper Adams

    Farmers will soon be able to improve the health of their dairy herds thanks to a new qualification delivered by Harper Adams University College in collaboration with XLVets.

    Delegates will achieve a University College Foundation Certificate in Dairy Herd Health Management after completing modules such as Bovine Artificial Insemination, Improving Dairy Herd Fertility, Bovine Lameness and the Management of Pregnant and Parturient Dairy Cows.

    Harper Adams, through the REEDNet initiative, will accredit the course delivered by XLVets – a group of 46 independently owned, progressive veterinary practices, and it will form part of the FarmSkills programme run by the organisation.

    Each module will take place on farm for three to four days at one of XL Vets’ satellite centres across the UK. These can be studied individually as a separate course, or amalgamated towards the University College Foundation Certificate. Participating farmers have two years to complete the remaining required modules.

    Alison Pyatt, Animal Science Lecturer at Harper Adams in Shropshire, said: “XLVets is providing exactly the kind of thing that REEDNet champions – training delivered by industry experts to help farmers improve their business performance.

    “By working together, we can improve this further by giving delegates quality assured training which they can then take home and implement on their own farms.” 

    REEDNet is the Rural Employer Engagement Development Network and has government funding through the Higher Education Funding Council for England to support work based training and staff development in the rural economy.

    The trainers delivering the University College Foundation Certificate have achieved the Training Higher Education Trainers’ qualification, also delivered through the REEDNet initiative.  This is designed to follow on from the established Lantra Instructional Techniques’ course, already achieved by Vets delivering on XL Vets FarmSkills courses.

    Sophie Throup, FarmSkills Manager at XLVets, said: “Although the majority of farmers are happy with practical business benefit courses, some really want that added extra, and to gain recognition for the courses they attend.

    “We were drawn to Harper Adams because of the quality and reputation that it has in the agricultural sector and are delighted to be working with REEDNet to accredit our courses.

    “Our training will continue to be vet-led and delivered on farm in small groups, the added bonus of having Harper Adams behind us on this specially developed programme will take the FarmSkills courses to the next level.”

    Carwyn Ellis, Head of the Animals Department at Harper Adams, said: "Harper Adams University College has a long track record in providing high quality skills development for the agricultural sector, this programme links this with XLVet’s understanding of farmer needs derived from their close relationship with clients and will provide a quality up-skilling opportunity."

    To apply for a place on the Dairy Herd Health Management programme, please contact Mina, Jane or Sophie in the FarmSkills Office on 01765 645893 or

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