Charitable Trust Awards

Innovative studies into robotic milking, re-wilding and remote apprenticeship training chosen by the Farmers Club Charitable Trust Educator Award selection panel led by Prof Quintin McKellar CBE

Three UK farming educators have been selected to receive special support from the Farmers Club Charitable Trust in 2019 to undertake innovative studies into robotic milking, re-wilding and remote apprenticeship training.

Prof Quintin McKellar CBE chaired the FCCT Educator Awards selection panel, which also included 2019 Farmers Club Chairman Nick Helme, FCCT Trustees Vic Croxson, James Cross and Des Lambert OBE and Farmers Club Journal Editor Charles Abel.

The three successful applicants are:

  • Christopher Taylor, Wiltshire College (Lackham Campus), Wiltshire – visiting farms in the UK, the Netherlands and Denmark/Sweden to pinpoint just how robotic milking systems can change dairy herd performance, creating opportunities for the next generation of farmers to adapt a different approach to dairy farm management. Farm labour, cow welfare, productivity and milk quality will all be considered. The project ties in with college plans for a new £2.4m dairy to showcase robotic milking and underpin new dairy courses.
  • Geoffrey Guy, Hartpury College, Gloucestershire – travelling to the Netherlands, southern Sweden and China to investigate the difficult intersection between re-wilding programmes for species such as deer, wolves, lynx, beavers and wild boar, and other land uses, especially farming. The main focus will be on gathering case studies, to improve student and industry understanding of the issues, so projects can be planned better, and also to investigate practical techniques for managing the overlaps more successfully.
  • Peter Reed, Bicton College, Devon – travelling to Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia in Canada to look at the pros and cons of the ways educators there use modern communication technologies (eg Skype, video + voice recording) to improve agricultural business management apprenticeship training in remote areas. The main focus will be on improving access to learning, enhancing the efficiency of educators and imparting modern communication skills to agricultural students. Learnings could be incorporated into UK Level 3 and 4 apprenticeship standards.   


Charitable Trust

The FCCT, whilst strongly linked to the Farmers Club, is a stand-alone charity, founded in 1981 by Club members Trevor Muddiman, Sir David Naish, Sir John Eastwood and Robin Leigh-Pemberton. It relies upon the generous support of Club members and the wider industry. Find out more at:


Prof Quintin McKellar

FCCT Educator Awards Selection Panel Chairman Prof Quintin McKellar has been Scientific Director and Chief Executive of the Moredun Research Institute, Principal of the Royal Veterinary College of the University of London, a member of the Government Chief Scientist Steering Group on Animal and Plant Health and is now vice-chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire. He is a Board member of Universities UK, chair of the University Vocational Awards Council and the Board of Trustees of Pirbright Institute, co-chair of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) Food Economy Task Force, and Non-Executive Director of the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock.


For more details about the FCCT Educator Awards, which have funded over £670,000 of study tours over the past 39 years, see:  Closing date for the 2020 awards is likely to be early February.


Full reports of the studies will be available on the Farmers Club website within 12 months. Members wishing to contact any of the award winners, with questions, contacts or advice regarding their study topics, can do so via the Journal Editor, e-mail:

For more information about the Farmers Club Charitable Trust click here.

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