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Southfields Farm Project Launch

17th September 2012 <b>Southfields</b> Farm Project Launch

Calderdale College has partnered with local farmer Philip Crossley at Southfields farm to deliver a unique style of teaching and learning in Animal Care. The Southfields Farm project aims to revolutionise the way in which students learn essential skills in Calderdale by enabling learners to gain invaluable hands-on experience. The course combines both theoretical and practical training within a real-life, working farm.

The recent launch of the Southfields Farm Project was opened by local farmer, successful greengrocer and altruist Philip Crossley, Calderdale College Principal Chris Jones and Halifax MP Linda Riordan. Over 50 guests from across the borough came together to celebrate the opening of Southfields Farm and the generosity of one man who believes education is the key to success.

The extraordinary farm, which has been given a new lease of life from its former derelict state, now houses a state of the art purpose built classroom among a variety of indigenous, exotic and rare-breed animals and 70 acres of farm land. Students can now experience for themselves and get up close and learn by doing in a working farm environment.

The Farm project started as an unfulfilled dream, Philip Crossley recounts; “I had a lifelong ambition to make a contribution back to education and build an agriculture learning centre in Shelf. My roots are in agriculture and I would like to pass my knowledge and experience on to others who might never have a chance to learn and experience what I have.”

The project is all about enabling students to get the most out of the farm, the lecturers and Philips first-hand experience in a real-life setting. Students are encouraged to put the theory they have learnt into practice and take responsibility to care for, and understand the animals.

Level 3 BTEC Diploma student Daniel Mason said: “I have learnt a lot by doing - a hands on approach is needed to work with most animals, there is only so much you can learn from a book, before a practical element is needed.”

Animal Care Level 2 Lecturer, Rachel McCaffrey said: “Biology, nutrition, husbandry, health and welfare and anatomy and physiology are just a few of the broad range of essential skills taught on the Animal Care course. The skills gained on this course could enable learners to find work in animal research, farms, veterinary surgeries, zoos and animal rescue centres. Students could also work for charitable organisations such as the RSPCA, Guide dogs for the Blind and the Police Animal Unit.”

For more information on Animal Care please contact the Student Services Team on 01422 399 367.

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