Work Experience is expensive to provide - we therefore expect a huge commitment from students to achieve as near as possible balance between the learning opportuntities provided and the work a student performs.
Farmer Gow's is open to the public 358 days of the year - we therefore need to ensure that you work carefully and safely - with both our animals and our visitors.
We will teach you to
- listen carefully to instructions
- follow those instructions and
- provide feedback to senior staff on all elements of the task in hand
We will supervise you thoroughly until we are sure you can follow instructions correctly and accurately. As your confidence grows and your ability to correctly perform tasks improves we will start to 'step back' and allow you to grow in the level of responsibility we give you.
We will challenge you - and if you work hard and listen carefully - you will have a fantastic time. You will learn loads and loads and loads. Your confidence will grow. You will meet many new people and learn to talk to them, work with them, ask them for help.
And that's just in your first few weeks ...
Age 16-18 years
The farm provides
- 'hands on' practical and technical training to students interested in veterinary and animal careers
- contacts for further work experience opportunities with local farmers, businesses and government departments involved in the agricultural industry
- opportunities for paid work once a basic level of competence is achieved
- opportuntities for paid work during school/college/university holidays
Depending on the background of the student we would normally expect, by academic school year -
- January-March application to join the work experience programme. Student invited to spend a 1/2 day on the farm, working alongside an existing student, followed by a short interview with a senior member of staff
- Following a successful visit and interview student begins a one-day per week (normally Saturday or Sunday) work experience. Introduction to the farm's routines, learning about everyday feeding, watering, hygiene procedures, routine tasks, preparation of feeds for hand reared lambs and kids. You will assist with twice daily 'Meet the Animals' sessions.
- April - one week work experience during the school holiday - either Sunday-Thursday or Tuesday-Saturday
- May or Summer holidays - a further one week work experience
Please note ~ we expect students to take no more than 2-weeks off during the May-June exam period. This is hay making time - and understanding grass growing and harvesting is an incredibly important learning experience for students.
- One day a week continues through the autumn and winter months. Most students arrange off-farm work experiences during the October and February school holidays.
- Early spring - students work with newborn/hand reared lambs and kids
- Students are set weekly subjects on a whole variety of agricultural subjects for presentation to staff the following weekend. This rapidly expands learning and awareness.
- April - one week, Sun-Thu or Tue- Sat during the school Easter holidays - this starts to re-inforce year 1 learning. You may get the opportutity to assist with a lamming. Students introduced to injections, castration, foot trimming, ringing, record keeping, ordering feeds ...
- Around this time you should be ready to work in the farm shop, welcoming visitors to the farm, helping them with chick handling - and serving them on the till. When you can do this you will become a paid member of staff.
- You will work with piglets, calves, lambs, kids, chicks - and their adults
- You will start to work with other work experience students, with younger children on farm workshops
- Summer holidays - one week work experience (if required) on farm - or a week at another local farm/business. We will provide you with telephone numbers and a contact name.
- One day a week continues through the autumn and winter months. By now you should be competent and confident in many areas of the farm routine.
- You will have a wealth of farm knowledge and handling experience on all the farm species - cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, ferrets, chickens, ducks and turkeys.
- You will be able to lead small groups of visitors through Meet the Animals. You will be able to answer their questions confidently and accurately.
- You will understand the 20+ animal medicines we use each year to safeguard our animals, you will understand routine/seasonal tasks. You will be able to medicate - orally and by injection - our farm animals.
- You will be able to arrange other work experiences very easily - because you have reached a level of competence which will be useful to other farms and businesses. When you have passed your driving test - you will be able to join a high end dairy farm and enjoy learning about milking and the dairy industry - unless of course you have a parent willing and able to drive you to 4am milking.
- Spring - you will be completing tasks for the 3rd time - and you will be quick, efficient and accurate at your tasks
- February - we will give you contact details for a lamming experience on a large sheep unit
- Easter - you will be confident working with all the farm animals and with members of the public
Post School and on to University
- We will be very proud of you and want to know how you are getting on
- We will welcome you back for summer/Christmas/Easter work
- We will continue to support you - with references and contacts for further work experiences