Colleges Changing With The Times
colleges were today accused of failing to teach
the basics of farming.
centres of excellence in the teaching of many
skills and crafts, said the Government
Chief Inspector of Colleges, but the
management of crops and animals seems to have
dropped off the curriculum.
A spokesman for the
Association of British Agricultural Colleges
admitted that there had been a necessary change
of emphasis in their teaching. No British
farm can be financially viable if it relies
solely on what it grows or rears, he
explained. Farmers and their families have
to be trained in ways of making money from other
types of employment in order to subsidise the
huge losses made by their farms.
Giles Tractorson, a
livestock farmer from Hereford, agreed that he
had found skills learned in college to be of
great value. We studied vehicle mechanics,
plumbing, bricklaying and other trades, he
explained. These are always in demand and
bring in the much needed money.
Fears have been expressed
that a lack of basic knowledge about crop
management and animal husbandry by farmers has
damaged farm productivity. That doesnt
really matter, concluded a representative
of the British Young Farmers Association.
If all the crops on a farm fail, or all the
animals die, then it reduces the financial losses
because it brings down production costs. Foot and
mouth and other diseases are a real boon due to
compensation payments. He added that most
farmers had a book about farming somewhere in
their homes in case they ever wondered what had
British supermarkets have
been blamed for using their buying power to force
the price of produce below economic levels.
We dont feel weve driven down
the profits of those bumpkins far enough,
admitted a representative of the Confederation of
British Supermarkets, unless we get a good
crop of bankruptcies and suicides. Our members
can then buy their land cheaply, he added,
for distribution depots and more
The manager of a major
supermarket in Kent noted his amusement at the
irony of farmers stacking shelves in his store to
make ends meet.
Responding to criticisms,
the agricultural colleges say they will be
extending their courses to contain some areas of
horticulture. These may include opium and
cannabis production, speculated a spokesman
for the Association of British Agricultural
Colleges. The supermarkets dont have
a stranglehold over the sale of those commodities,
he added, and fair prices are paid because
bosses of organised crime have the good sense to
protect their suppliers.