BTEC Agriculture Work Experience – Adam Sherriff
As part of their practical experience for the BTEC Agriculture course at Chengelo, students are required to spend time on a work placement in the agriculture industry. Here is an account by Adam Sherriff of his experience working on the family ranch:
This last holiday I spent three weeks working on my home farm, Great North Ranch. This was a really busy time as so much was happening at once. My first job after getting home was to get our fish hatchery up and running. This meant installing extra water pumps to fill fish tanks faster and with more pressure. I also installed the whole aeration system for all of the fish tanks, to allow more fish and fry to be kept in one tank without suffocating. The next job was ensuring our incubators were all working correctly for fish egg incubation.
Once this was completed, we could then collect eggs from our breeding fish which were living in our greenhouse hatchery. These eggs were taken from the mouths of the female fish and placed into an incubator for hatching. Once hatched the fish fry are placed into a basin for further growing.
After getting the hatchery up and running my job then changed to driving the tractor where we were fertilizing our fields with a wheat blend for the coming wheat crop. This was a big change as I went from working in an incredibly hot, humid place in a greenhouse where I must have sweated off about 2kgs to sitting in an air-conditioned tractor. This was really nice until I managed to break one of the glass doors of the tractor. This was not so pleasant anymore as I got covered in dust.
This was an incredibly busy time on the farm as we were still harvesting soya beans and groundnuts. Combines breaking down and tractors flying around the place added to the hustle and bustle of harvest time. Ensuring the grain was dried before sending it off to the millers was another task that needed attending to.
During the last few days of my time on the farm I was in charge of making sure enough wheat seed was being used for the area being planted. This tested my math skills as farming is not as simple as it may seem to some, especially on our farm where so much goes on at once.
It’s hard to believe what can be accomplished in a day!
All in all, it was good to spend time working over the holiday, it was great to be productive and use my skills to help where I could.