Published Wednesday, 13th January 2016 in Study at SRUC news
You are never too old to learn at SRUC’s Barony Campus, and paying testament to this is 74 year old John Maxwell of Netherwood Farm, Dumfries.
family has been farming in the region since 1863, first in the Garroch, then
Glengower and have been at Netherwood since 1940. He recently completed and
passed his PA1 and PA2 courses in Pesticide Application under the supportive
tuition of Andrew Marshall, Agriculture lecturer at the Barony campus of
Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).
only did John gain his qualification, he said it boosted his confidence. The
last test John sat was his driving test many years ago so he was naturally
nervous and worried about the course: “Even after the first session I was
convinced I wouldn’t manage to pass, and when I got home my young grandson
noticed that I was upset. But I was determined to pass the course and I did and
I am so relieved. Even though I felt daunted to start with, my advice to others
would be not to worry and just pay attention to the instructor – listen and
learn, and you will do okay.
asked about the content of the Pesticide Application courses, John’s view is:
“It’s actually the same principle as before but it’s just done differently now
with modern technology. I now know about the proper labelling, exactly what
each chemical does and the pathways for the chemicals on the sprayer. I think
the assessment was fair and square and actually I was finished before the young
might think I was too old to back to college and that I should be retiring, but
to me farming is my life so as long as I am here I will be farming!”
Fraser, Training Manager at Barony Campus said: “Our aim is to make sure all
our students across all backgrounds and age ranges feel comfortable with what
we are teaching. Our instructors understand the anxiety that some people feel
when they come into a College environment after not having completed any learning
for some time. What is important at SRUC
is that our learners not only gain new skills and qualifications, but grow in
the end of November, the Grandfather clause ended and there is now a legal
requirement for those buying and using Plant Protection Products (PPP) which
includes pesticides for professional use. Previously, those born before 31
December 1964 could use pesticides responsibly on their or their employer’s
land without certification. The new legislation requires those buying
pesticides and using pesticides to hold the relevant qualification.). This has
led to a large number of people undertaking the course at SRUC Barony.
last year over 1200 people have completed short courses run by SRUC Barony, of
which 300 people attended one of our pesticide courses. Our courses cover a
large range of subjects ranging from ATVs, telehandlers through to pesticides,
chainsaws and forest machinery. For more information on them please contact
David Spencer, Training Administrator David.Spencer@sruc.ac.uk/ 01387 242918.
Photograph: John Maxwell.
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