Some of Devon’s leading farming experts are joining the team at Bicton College to help drive excellence, research and to inspire the next generation of young people to join the great industries of farming, food and the countryside. The group, who all form part of the new Community Council, will be working with the Principal, Dr Phil Le Grice and staff to help the college deliver great skills and qualifications that open up careers locally and globally.
The initial members of the Community Council are; award winning farmer Di Wastenage, Farming businessman Lester Bowker, Bicton College governor and businessman Jeff Beer and former student and businessman Dave Sampson.
Dr Le Grice said: “I am delighted that some of Devon’s leading agricultural professionals have agreed to support Bicton College in this way; they will help us to drive the College forward and demonstrate to families and young people that Bicton is a professional choice and a gateway to university and well paid jobs. I am extremely excited and passionate about the future of Bicton and so are the members of the Community Council; we can see it’s potential. I want to make this one of the leading education and research hubs in the South West region for farming and horticulture.”
The group will hold regular discussions with students and staff and are starting to understand the nature and quality of the facilities available on the 400 acre site.
In one of their first meetings the group toured the campus, including the state-of-the-art animal management centre, equine yard and engineering facilities. They’ve also met with staff and students, to get feedback on the current student experience.
Chairman of the Bicton College Community Council, Jeff Beer, said: “We have some outstanding experts already on the Community Council and we have more professionals, from across the region, who are keen to be a part of the future of Bicton College. As a team we are incredibly excited about what lies ahead and we see Bicton College as a key influencer in the rural economy of the region.”
Di Wastenage added: “After touring the site today, I am incredibly excited; Bicton College has some fantastic facilities and there is so much potential here. Our business is heavily involved in agriculture and we are looking for the right kind of young people, with the right kind of skills to drive our business forward. Agriculture is open to anyone and a qualification obtained here at Bicton could take you anywhere in the world.”