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Agri student credits on-farm placement for gaining invaluable industry experience

17-year-old Will Prince studies Agriculture at Reaseheath College, covering a wide variety of farming, from arable and livestock, to soil science.

As part of Will’s second year of his course, he was required to complete an on-farm placement year and was quickly put in touch with Ed Riley, one of Buitelaar’s biggest rearer-finisher’s.

Will says:

“I was originally told that Ed was looking for a placement student, so I got in touch with him and asked if I could apply. I sent him my CV and had an interview. A couple of weeks later he called me back to say I’d got the job and that I was to start in June! (2020) I’m really enjoying it.”

The placement has given Will a huge amount of hands-on experience in handling and managing a farm on a daily basis, including invaluable experience of rearing calves to a high standard for Buitelaar and solving various on-farm challenges along the way.

“It’s definitely a challenge with the calves at times, we have to keep the bulls and heifers separate. When they get to a certain age, the bulls get excited and will run around and then they’ll start to burn their weight off, which won’t achieve anything!”

During his placement year, Will also had the opportunity to rear his own batch of calves by himself.

“Ed mentored me and showed me the ropes, but he told me that I would be rearing the next batch of calves by myself, as I now have the skills and knowledge to do it. Ed did oversee everything to make sure I was on the right track, but I’ve done most of it myself.”

CEO, Adam Buitelaar visited Ed Riley and Will while on his placement.

Adam said:

“I was really impressed with how Will was looking after the calves. He took a very keen interest, and they look fantastic; he will learn a huge amount from Ed during this time.”

A huge part of Buitelaar’s culture is to ensure that there is enough adequate support for young people breaking into the agriculture industry.

Adam said:

“As an industry, It’s our responsibility to support young people and new entrants into agriculture. We’re working exceptionally hard to inspire the next generation of farmers and bring fresh thinking to an ever-evolving industry landscape.”

In response, Buitelaar launched a brand-new Graduate Scheme, offering graduates the opportunity to join and work within an entrepreneurial agricultural company, benefitting from a 6-18 month intensive training programme.

Successful candidates will benefit from extensive training, support and access to all business areas, to fast-track individuals into pivotal roles within the company.

Buitelaar’s Business Development Manager, Annabel Palmer said:

“Our passion for seeing young people develop and excel, paired with our rapid growth has led us to offer two exciting graduate schemes. Although we have numerous diverse divisions across Europe, Buitelaar Group has maintained the original core family values, ensuring a strong and supportive team environment where the right people thrive.”

You can find out more about our career opportunities here.

Watch one of Will's take-home weaning tips!