Organic learning

Published Friday, 28th June 2019 in Study at SRUC news

Cows at Rainton Farm
Cows at Rainton Farm

Organic farming students visited a range of farms and businesses during a study tour to Dumfries and Galloway as part of their Masters course.

The students, who are studying Organic Farming with Scotland’s Rural College through on-line distance learning, visited Rainton Farm – which operates an ethical dairy system where calves stay with the cows, and Torr Farm – one of the Scottish Government’s first Climate Change Focus Farms.

They were also shown around SRUC’s Crichton Farm, including a tour of controlled traffic plots by soil research scientist Dr Paul Hargreaves, and the Langhill dairy herd by Professor Dave Roberts, head of Agriculture and Business Management at the Barony campus.

Their last visit was to the Beyond the Burn farm, near Dumfries, where the Lochhead family have brown Swiss cows and make mozzarella cheese.

Back in the Central Belt, the group were taken around Barenbrug seed company, in Falkirk, by Research and Development Manager – and SRUC graduate – Mhairi Dawson.

Programme leader Dr Lou Ralph, who led the tour with Research Agronomist Dr Robin Walker, said: “The students were delighted with the tour, having picked up lots of useful practical information from farmers, and dairy and soils researchers, in the area, much of which was linked to the coursework they'd undertaken so far.”

The course, which is run from SRUC’s Aberdeen campus and validated by the University of Glasgow, is the only specialised Masters degree in Organic Farming in Scotland, providing students with the technical and management skills to meet the challenges of the growing organic food and farming sector.

The programme enables students with a variety of academic and working experiences to gain a fast-track understanding of the key technical production, marketing and management aspects of organic farming and food.

For more information, visit the website.

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