Moulton College has appointed a new farm manager to inspire its next generation of young agriculture and countryside management students.
Malcolm Pate, who will take up his role later this month, is a perfect example of how potential land-based students can achieve their aims through hard work and study.
“I didn’t come from a farming family,” he said. “I grew up surrounded by the Scottish countryside with farming all around me and just fell in love with everything that was going on.
“My first actual farming job was when I was about 10 or 11, at weekends, on a dairy farm.”
Now, aged 33, his credentials are impeccable.
Malcolm studied Agriculture at the former Scottish Agricultural College, Auchincruive, Ayr (now part of Scotland’s Rural University College), starting with a NC (Level 3 equivalent) and working through HNC and HND qualifications to finish with a BSc. Since leaving college he has become BASIS (certificate in crop protection) and FACTS (fertiliser adviser) qualified and is looking forward to gaining more industry qualifications.
Over the past 10 years Malcolm has moved around the UK gaining invaluable work experience, first with agricultural contractors and in the beef and sheep industries in Scotland, then with a specialist salad grower in Warwickshire, culminating in five years in management positions in Buckinghamshire (1000 acres, mixed arable) and Cambridgeshire (1000 hectares, arable) before coming to Moulton.
He’s looking forward to his new role and is keeping an open mind about what the future will bring.
“I really enjoy teaching people, with all the knowledge and experience I have gained so far in my career – I like the thought of educating the next generation of farmers. I’d like to create a great learning environment for our students because farming really needs young people coming in,” he said.
“Also, I’d like to set Moulton College Farm up for the future. We need to be seen as industry leaders, both locally and nationally.
“Brexit will bring change, but we don’t yet know what so it’s an exciting time to be taking over the reins.”
What advice would Malcolm give to young people considering studying farming and countryside management?
“I’d say study and learn as much as you can, for sure,” he said. “For a sound career reaching into the future, students need a degree education. There’s a lack of that, but it can be done: I’m the proof!
“It might seem like a long journey at the start but it’s really not that far. So go for it.”
For more information about studying agriculture and countryside management at Moulton College, visit www.moulton.ac.uk or call 01604 491131.