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Girls sign up for farming courses in record numbers

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 29, 2012

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Lecturers at a Westcountry agricultural college say record number of girls have signed up to train for a career in the farming industry.

Staff at Duchy College, Stoke Climsland, Cornwall, said this year "uncharacteristically" a high number of girls have started agricultural courses.

In total 33 students enrolled onto the full-time level three agriculture course this September, 45% of whom were female.

Andrew Counsell, head of Duchy College said very few women chose to work in the industry.

He said: "Recent statistics have shown that only 1% of agricultural workers in the UK are female. However, the industry is keen to significantly increase this number and its permanence."

The girls are said to have already thrown themselves into life as agriculture students at the 700-acre estate. They have been getting to grips with the livestock on the college farm, ploughing, milking, learning about intestine dissection and exploring the farm machinery.

Samantha Sleep, 17, from Tavistock, Devon, is studying the level three extended diploma in agriculture, and is in her second year of the course. She said: "I want to have my own farm so I want to learn as much as I can. As well as learning in the classroom we work on the tractors, or with the calves or sheep, we do all sorts."

David Newton, agriculture course manager said: "I am pleased to see so many females enrolling on our agricultural courses, and am certain that they will have a fantastic time."

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