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Family Fun at Free Lambing Day
The first ever lambing event at Duchy College?s farm proved a huge hit with the public. Many trailerloads of families toured the farm for free in glorious sunshine and had hands-on experience of handling baby lambs and other animals.
The farm has about 200 lambs, which were the main attraction on the day. Before meeting the lambs, however, members of the public were taken on a tractor and trailer tour starting at the main College campus. First, there was face painting and a ‘guess the name of the toy lamb’ competition at the Agri-food Centre, where people waited to be taken on their trailer rides to the farm. The journey itself included an introduction to the farm by Farm Manager Richard Griffiths and a guided tour of the farm and its animals. Highlights included pedigree British lop pigs, a rare breed sourced from Tavistock. These pigs are very docile and could to be petted by children. Also on view was a small herd of pedigree North Devons, a rare breed of cattle which thrives on hilly ground, and at the farmyard there were many straw-filled pens containing about five other breeds of calves. Milking time was brought forward specially, so that those visiting the farm in the afternoon could see the dairy herd being milked.
In addition to the guided talks, families were offered a chance to fill in a quiz sheet about the farm, devised by National Diploma Agriculture students.
Farm Manager Richard Griffiths said: “It’s good to get people back involved in food and the environment, and especially to get young people engaged. Farming is the reason for the environment that people are enjoying today. We would like people to realise that cheap imports are at the expense of UK agriculture, and to give their support to British farmers.”
Those helping with lambs on the day included Emma White, who looks after sheep and calves on the farm, and Sue Petherick of the Training Agency, who works with students across Devon and Cornwall including Duchy College agriculture students. Sue said: “It’s gone very well, better than we ever thought. The kids have really enjoyed the hands-on experience.”
Dave Linnell OBE, Principal of Cornwall College, said: “The first lambing day proved a great success and was an excellent way for local people to find out at first hand what happens at their local college farm. Congratulations to all the staff and students who took part in this very worthwhile event.”