Last week, Grimme apprentices from across the UK and Ireland harvested nine acres of potatoes as a part of their Land-Based Service Engineering apprenticeship with Brooksby Melton College.
This fantastic opportunity allowed the students to experience all aspects of the potato harvest at BMC’s Brooksby Campus, including driving the Grimme GT170 potato harvester, filling the trailer, sorting the potatoes, and loading the lorries with the new Grimme CleanLoader, with the latter being one of only four machines of its type in the UK.
This potato harvest concluded a larger-scale project for these trainee Land-Based Engineers, who previously spent a week learning how to operate the machinery that cultivates the land and plants seed potatoes.
McCain, who supplied the seed potatoes, were also on hand throughout the project to share their expert advice on all aspects of growing the crop. The harvest resulted in 200 tonnes of potatoes, which were delivered to McCain for processing into a variety of frozen potato products.
BMC Land-Based Service Engineering Apprentice, Jules Weston, commented ‘Assisting with the potato harvest was a really valuable opportunity as it enabled me to gain experience in the field as a machinery operator. On the day, myself and the other students helped by driving the machinery and by grading the potatoes. I chose to study an apprenticeship because I wanted to spend as much time as possible gaining hands-on experience in the workplace, but coming into college to learn additional practical skills like how to use harvesting machinery has been really useful for me. The additional skills and knowledge that I have learned at BMC will help me with my career going forward. At the moment I am an apprentice with Bell Agricultural, and I hope to carry on working for the company after I have completed my apprenticeship.’
Grimme UK’s Stuart Smith, who managed the project, said “This has been a great learning experience for all concerned. The students have all developed valuable skills which will make them even more productive for their employers and stand them in good stead for their future careers within the industry.”
Nick Leah, Land-Based Engineering lecturer at BMC, added “We are so grateful to our friends at Grimme UK who are so supportive of the apprentices and the college. It is fantastic that we can gain access to the latest hi-tech agricultural machinery. The weather was on our side and the machinery behaved for us and the students all gained a lot of experience in a short space of time.”
Brooksby Melton College offers both full time courses and apprenticeships within the field of Land Based Engineering, with students benefitting from working on the 850 acre Brooksby Estate. BMC’s Brooksby Campus features an array of tractors, potato machines, sprayers, combine harvesters and additional agricultural apparatus for students to work on. Click here to book onto our next open event where you can view BMC’s fantastic facilities and meet our industry-expert teaching staff.