Sparsholt College are launching the first of the 2017 series of open days on Saturday 11 February 2017, 10am to 2pm showcasing the College’s leading-edge use of technology across its broad land-based curriculum.

Principal of the 100 year old college, which sits in 400 acres of beautiful Hampshire countryside, Tim Jackson said: “We are the first, and currently only, land-based college in the UK to open a Microsoft Academy which ensures our students are being taught the very latest digital skills alongside their advanced technical skills. This modern world demands students, whether horticulture, fish or agriculture to be true digital natives and we are the best place to meet this mandate. The open day is the ideal opportunity for prospective students to identify the right course for them and learn more about the digitalisation of the industries they are looking to work in and how the College has embedded digital skills as a core part of the curriculum”.

Would-be agriculture students touring the College dairy on the day will be interested to see the herd of Holstein cows sporting pedometers. Data from the pedometers is used to monitor the health of the cow and the overall performance of the herd. The pedometers examine activity and inactivity in the herd which can be an early indicator for lameness or a number of other health related issues. Staff and students use this data so measures can then be taken to ensure increased milk yields, improvement in milk quality and reduced production costs. More accurate data can also result in better herd health and higher standards of animal welfare, a priority for the College.

Tim Jackson continues: “It’s imperative that our students not only know of the latest technology being used in industry but also have the digital skills to use that technology optimally. Our farming operation at the College is run on a commercial basis so students working with the dairy herd are learning how technology is being used to improve the management of the herd, ensure high standards of animal welfare while controlling costs and optimising milk yield”.

The open day is not just for school leavers. The College also offers degrees from Foundation and Undergraduate through to Masters level at University Centre Sparsholt. . More and more young and mature people choose Sparsholt to study degrees, appreciating the small class sizes, the expertise of the lecturers and the applied knowledge they gain which employers value highly.

To join the experts at Sparsholt, come along to the Open Day on Saturday the 11 February 2017, 10:00am – 2:00pm. For more information, please call 01962 776441 or book a place now at https://www.sparsholt.ac.uk/opendays/