2013-10-16  facebook twitter rss

New Beginning at College Farm

The first calf to be born at Newton Rigg College since the college's herd was lost to Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001 has arrived.

The pedigree Holstein heifer, 'Belle' marks the beginning of a new era for the Cumbrian land-based college which was taken over by Askham Bryan College two years ago. The news comes as the creation of the £2m state of the art commercial dairy takes shape, and student numbers have doubled for the second year in succession.

Matt Bagley, Head of Agriculture, Newton Rigg College with 2nd year agriculture students Becky Dobson and Robert Carrick with the new calf “Belle” at the College's Sewborwens Farm

Matt Bagley, Head of Agriculture, Newton Rigg College with 2nd year agriculture students Becky Dobson and Robert Carrick with the new calf “Belle” at the College's Sewborwens Farm

The first calf to be born at Newton Rigg College since the college's herd was lost to Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001 has arrived.

Liz Philip, Chief Executive said:
“This is an incredibly significant milestone, not just for college, but for the Cumbrian farming community, and beyond. When we first became involved with Newton Rigg, we said we would restore its agricultural focus. The calf and the new dairy epitomise that promise.” The calf – Newtonrigg Mars Belle (Belle) - also marks the rebirth of the Newton Rigg herd title.

Foundation females have been bought from Anthony Brough's internationally renowned Tallent herd, from Cockermouth. They will be based at the College's Sewborwens Farm, which is close to the campus enabling students to gain practical hands on experience. The first batch have arrived, and are being milked in a temporary facility, with the dairy expected to be finished in the new year. The parlour building is now constructed and the cubicle house is well underway.

It is anticipated that it will be a showcase for the farming industry - as a practical example of best practice, both in terms of animal management and through its innovative approach to good environmental practice.

The dairy will use the innovative 'green bedding' system to recycle cattle manure as bedding, as well as having solar panels, and reusing roof water. The emphasis is on minimising endemic disease and ensuring maximum cattle health and comfort.

Mrs Philip added: “A key element is that students from both campuses will gain practical experience in this flagship commercial system enabling them to take that knowledge back to their own farms or into careers in the industry. The impact of this milestone cannot be underestimated.”

Newton Rigg College

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