Cambridge, 3rd May 2018 -
For the third year running, Mike Price of Monkhall farm, Callow, has partnered with Bayer and NIAB to welcome students from the University of Cardiff.
The annual event has proven to be a huge success providing students from the Department of Biosciences, who are undertaking a module in plant genetics, an opportunity to apply what they are learning in their lectures to the field, and to understand the crucial role that plant genetics have in sustainable food production.
Mike Price has been hosting NIAB wheat and oil seed rape trials for the past eighteen years, and was delighted to be approached by Bayer and NIAB to partner with them on this collaborative initiative. Throughout the day, students participate in sessions that visit the trials exposing them to the realities of plant breeding from the perspective of a farmer.
‘’At the moment, farm visits like these are considered a unique experience’ says Mr Price. ‘By doing more collaboration between Universities and the agri-food sector we hope one day to see farm visits as standard practice for students of biosciences. Now more than ever do we need to engage the next generation in careers in agriculture, and hosting farm visits is a great way to do that’.
Visiting lecturer at Cardiff School of Biosciences, Jonathon Harrington organises the field studies as part of a Plant Genetics module which give students an opportunity to assess disease resistance and crop growth habits. "A day like today enables them to understand the value of plant breeding and in particular advanced plant breeding techniques which are key to maximising crop yields and qualities".
"Many of our students have never had an opportunity to visit farms where crops are grown" said Mr Harrington. "This is an essential part of their studies".
The day finished with an interactive session on current agricultural affairs led by Dr Julian Little, Head of Communications and Government Affairs for Bayer Crop Science in the UK. ‘’In the future we are going to have to produce an awful lot of food in a way that benefits both people and the environment. For that to happen we need to attract the best talents into agriculture.’’
'’Giving them insight into what we are doing now and what we want to achieve in the next twenty years is a first step along that path.’’
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2017, the Group employed around 99,800 people and had sales of EUR 35.0 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.4 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.5 billion. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
Julian Little, phone 01223 226 606
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