Norfolk's young farmers of the future learn tractor and cattle skills
The farmers of the future were given valuable insights into tractor-driving and cattle-handling skills as part of an industry training programme.
Norfolk Countrysiders, the junior section of the Norfolk Young Farmers’ Club (YFC), undertook a tractor course for club members aged 13 and above, and a dairy and calf handling course for those aged 12 and above.
The tractor training at Easton and Otley College was led by lecturer Ian Faircloth. The Countrysiders learned about basic daily checks including visual inspections, engine oil, fuel and coolant.
They were shown safe start and stop procedures, hazard identification, and how to pick up a three-ton single trailer and fit hydraulic tipping pipes. They then took turns manoeuvring a three-tonne trailer around obstacles, both in forward and reverse gears.
The dairy and calf handling course was held at Ken and Rebecca Proctor’s farm in Shipdham, near Dereham, and delivered by Easton and Otley College tutor Helen Reeve.
Six keen Countrysiders learned about the health and hygiene of the cows, the process of milking, and tried their hand at halter training an older calf, leading the animal around a penned area.
Katharine Robinson, county organiser for Norfolk YFC, said: “It was a great confidence lesson and also on how to become a handler for events and shows.
“There were some very promising attendees and they have the opportunity to return in April to take part in a calf show where the judge, Mr Richard Basey-Fisher, will give them points and tips on how to be a great handler and then select the winner and runners up.
“It was a great experience seeing our next generation of farmers in the making.”