Posted 2 March 2015
A monthly special featuring a current student from Harper Adams University.
Final year Harper Adams agriculture student, Alex Terrett, believes that with a little tender loving care, vintage tractors can still have their place on a modern day farm.
The 21-year-old restores vintage tractors and machinery on his family’s organic beef and sheep enterprise in South Gloucestershire.
His collection includes a rare Massey Harris Ferguson, a David Brown 1490 and a 1972 Series 3 Land Rover.
The FdSc Agriculture student, said: “Restoring agricultural machinery involves everything from re-spraying and chassis work, to hydraulics and electrics.
“It is a long process and can take many years, but really, the hardest part is sourcing the parts and sometimes, I have to fabricate my own instead.
“But I’ve never known any different really as my parents have always taught me to look after and cherish the vehicles so that they last a lifetime.”
As well as attending events with his tractors, Alex can proudly claim that they are still regularly used on the farm and aren’t just for show. The youngest machine on the farm is a 1997 Case tractor, and the family has plans to restore a 1965 Series 2a Land Rover – a vehicle owned by them for more than 30 years.
Alex, who lives with his parents and younger brother Chris, said: “I’m very grateful to my parents for the time and expertise they have given me; it was my dad who first inspired me to start the restoration work when I was 10-years-old and my mum who introduced me to livestock.
“As a family, having our own individual hobbies is extremely important and we each contribute something different to the farm.
“As well as the vintage machines, I also enjoy stock judging. Whilst on placement in Scotland I came first and second for judging at Scotbeef in Inverurie, chosen from more than 50 young farmers.
“I also enjoy match ploughing with the Fergie, am a member of the Harper Adams off-road club, and take an active interest in the countryside and conservation.”
It was through visiting an open day that Alex realised that Harper Adams was the university for him.
He added: “I felt that the facilities were superior here at Harper Adams and I wanted a true university experience away from home.
“Thanks to my placement, I feel more confident and I’m really enjoying the work, particularly the research-based assignment.
“Once I graduate, I would like to top up my qualification to a full BSc degree and then pursue a farm management role or similar, hopefully combining my agricultural skills with my passion for conservation.”
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