Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

First Calf Born at College since Herd Lost to FMD; EDUCATION

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

First Calf Born at College since Herd Lost to FMD; EDUCATION

Article excerpt


THE first calf to be born at Newton Rigg College since the college's herd was lost to footand-mouth disease in 2001 has arrived.

Pedigree Holstein heifer Belle marks the beginning of a new era for the Penrith land-based college, which was taken over by Askham Bryan College two years ago. The news comes as the creation of the PS2m state-of-the art commercial dairy takes shape, and student numbers have doubled for the second year in succession.

College chief executive Liz Philip 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 internationallyrenowned Tallent herd, in 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 under way.

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."

It is anticipated that the new dairy 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. …

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