Agricultural training in spotlight at session

Back, college principal Ian Clinton and chairman of governors Jacqui Henderson. Front, student Abby Dalgleish and Guy Opperman MP. Picture by Jane Coltman.
Back, college principal Ian Clinton and chairman of governors Jacqui Henderson. Front, student Abby Dalgleish and Guy Opperman MP. Picture by Jane Coltman.

Special guests for an event at Northumberland College’s campus near Ponteland were full of praise for its facilities.

Guy Opperman, MP for Hexham, and Stuart Roberts, vice president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), met the future generation of agricultural and environmental workers at Kirkley Hall.

Students had the opportunity to forward questions and outline highlights of their studies.

The 200-acre estate includes a farm, extensive gardens, woodland, a state-of-the-art classroom and IT equipment in addition to the college’s upland Carlcroft Farm that is located in the Cheviot Hills.

Mr Opperman chaired the question and answer session and discussed his personal experiences within the field of equestrian, as well as his work within his constituency.

He said: “Northumberland College provides a wide range of fantastic opportunities and it was great to hear first-hand from students and college leaders.”

The NFU represents more than 55,000 farmers and growers and its vice president encouraged students to take up work experience opportunities with local landowners.

Jacqui Henderson, chairman of governors at the college, said: “We provide courses from entry level to honours degree and students are involved in a wide array of projects, from animal care to environmental projects.

“This event was a welcome opportunity to showcase the vital role education and training plays in the agricultural sector and to hear students’ views.”