An East Durham College agriculture student at the Houghall campus

College To Offer New Level 3 Agriculture Course

East Durham College is delighted to announce the launch of an exciting new level 3 agriculture course at its Houghall campus in Durham.

The college has been running highly successful entry level, level 1 and 2 agriculture courses in recent years; but following the completion of the £12.75 million redevelopment, the college now has the facilities to introduce the next level of study.

The new City & Guilds level 3 course, which starts from September 2017, focuses on two key areas, sustainable and commercial farming techniques and the study of the science and animal physiology within farming.

The course is not only aimed at students who have studied on an agricultural-based course, but is also a great progression option for students from non-farming backgrounds looking to get into the agricultural industry and its supporting ancillary industries.

Houghall farm manager Keith Cook is excited about the expansion of the course offering within the agriculture department.

Keith said: “This is really exciting news for the college and for agricultural studies within our region.

“It’s fantastic to be able to expand our offering, thanks to the building of the new Agricultural centre at the Houghall campus.

“Houghall has an amazing history of teaching and preparing young people for a career in the Agricultural industry and it’s wonderful to be able to offer this level of study once again.

“The agricultural teaching team are busy looking through the modules to get a feel for the level 3 course, and it’s exciting to be able to combine the teaching of Sustainable and commercial farming techniques and the science-based aspects as well.

“This is a really interesting course and we can’t wait to be teaching it from next September.”

The farm is in year four of a five year business plan to re-establish it as a commercial farm.

Houghall farm comprises of 400 acres of mixed farming comprising of 50 Cow Suckler herd and 50 bucket reared calf enterprise combined producing 100 fat cattle a year, 150 bird turkey enterprise, Flock of 300 ewes, and an ultra-modern pig unit with 14 sows producing 2 litters of pigs each per year.

The farm has its own butchery to process its own meat to supply to the college canteen and Durham University.

The farm has 200 acres of arable land where a diverse range of crops such as winter wheat, winter barley, spring oats, spring beans and lupins. These crops help to feed farm livestock correct diets, sustainability and tractability of diets so the consumer knows what livestock is fed.

The farm has partnerships with Agrii and Carrs Billington who they work alongside, researching crop trials and feed trials. Work at the farm is also carried out in partnership with trading standards training their staff to help ensure food safety throughout the industry.

East Durham College is hosting an open night for anyone interested in its land-based courses at the Houghall campus on Wednesday 12th October between 5pm and 7pm.

For more information on agriculture courses at the Houghall campus please contact our student services team on 0191 375 4710.