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    Farms required to help students learn about real-life businesses

    Posted 11 September 2014

    Students benefit greatly from visits to 'real-life' businesses

    Examples of ‘real-life’ farm businesses are required to help the next generation of agricultural business experts to complete their assignments at Harper Adams University.

    By hosting groups of agriculture students, farmers can have their business analysed for development, with copies of recommendations and reports available once the assignment has been completed.  

    Examples of previous work include a rent tendering exercise, a diversification plan and producing a strategy for business development.

    Senior Lecturer in Farm Business Management, Tony Asson, said: “The academic staff here at Harper Adams like to use real businesses for assignments as it gives the students access to the different scenarios that they will face as they progress through their careers.

    “The main requirement is a willingness to host a group of students for around two hours and allow them to walk the farm to assess the buildings, land and other resources.

    “The host doesn’t always need to talk to the students as it’s often more about the facilities and ‘what could be done’ that we want to harness.”

    Ideally, farms need to be located within an hour of the university in Newport, Shropshire, although this is flexible dependent on the assignment given.

    Group sizes vary from 20 to 120, with the larger classes divided into two visits, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

    Mr Asson added: “We often find that the hosts are keen to see what the students have come up with, although we do respect any confidentiality issues.

    “In terms of types of farm, we are fairly flexible, but I know that one colleague is looking for a 400acre+ arable farm with livestock potential, so we are keen to secure that."

    For more information, contact the university Press Office –

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