Apprenticeship: Level 3 Apprenticeship in Agriculture
Employer: Family Farm, Black Mountains, Powys
Kelly Davies works on her family farm on the edge of Black Mountains in Powys with her mother, father and brother. Covering 550 acres, the farm has approximately 70 head of cattle, 3000 sheep as well as fodder and root crops. With a strong interest in farming, Kelly decided that travelling to study for her A Levels everyday wasn’t going to work for her and she started at the Holme Lacy Campus as a Level 2 Apprentice, progressing to her Level 3 last year.
“This year has a much more managerial theme than the Level 2. We work with the Level 2 group in a supervisory capacity so we are learning how to manage other workers on the farm. This has given me more confidence because I realise my level of skill when I am showing others how to best carry out a task.
My main tasks on the farm are animal welfare mostly. I lead at lambing time when we have 1300 sheep lambing down so hopefully about 1700-1800 lambs and my brother leads at harvest time when he is working on the land and crops. Then in autumn and winter, everyone pitches in with what needs to be done.
I have had very good tutors at the college they all have real experiences of working in a farming environment. Although some of the skills I develop at work on the farm, going to college gives me the self-confidence to make my own decisions and stand up for my own opinions. The theory side of the apprenticeship has been made very relevant to my work and there is always support if needed. I like the social side of college and that I can talk to other apprentices sharing experiences and ideas. I don’t feel like I am on my own in my work and we go on some incredible trips. This year we went to the agricultural show in Paris, it was such an amazing experience.
I enjoy all of the work I do, especially the lambing. There is so much new life around and a fresh start in everything. I like watching them grow from something little, a bit like crops growing in to a good product. There is a sense of achievement in that. It is sometimes tough when the weather is cold or raining but you have to look at the bigger picture in this industry and take the good with the bad!
I have considered possibly progressing on to an Open University course after my apprenticeship possibly studying agri-business. I am quite strong academically so think it would be good for me to keep developing that. My tutors have been really supportive with progression advice.”