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AUC at Groundswell 2024

AUC partnered with Agricology to hold their first meeting at Groundswell in The Study Tent.

The AUC's Teaching and Learning group joined other agricultural teaching academics, Landex colleges and other attendees for sessions on education, farmers' research priorities, and for a open drinks reception, at the lively regenerative agriculture festival on the 26-27th June.

What is the AUC's Teaching and Learning Group?

An AUC retreat in took place in summer 2023, which bought together programme leads and industry partners to discuss agricultural education. The AUC have since teamed up to form a teaching and learning group to progress collaborative work.

Why Groundswell?

A year on, more than 70 programme leads and lecturers across universities and colleges convened at Groundswell for the first time. Groundswell is a Regenerative Agriculture festival focused on food production with the environment. It brings together theory and practical application of conservation agriculture and regenerative systems with over 7000 delegates over two days. It was a great place for the AUC to discuss agricultural education with those at the heart of UK agriculture, in the rural setting of Lannock Manor Farm in Hertfordshire.

Attendees at Groundswell enjoying a drink and chat about agricultural research
AUC Reception at The Study

The Study

The AUC partnered with Agricology to form ‘The Study’ tent, which hosted a range of talks and panels on sustainable agriculture, the future of farming and agricultural education.

Rethinking Agricultural (Higher) Education

A session on Rethinking Agricultural Education held a mirror up to the sector to show what is currently covered within and across different agricultural degree programmes. It highlighted core topics widely covered, like farm business management and soil and land management, through to newly emerging topics like regenerative agriculture and agroforestry. We explored how, as a teaching and learning group, we might best collaborate to strengthen the quality of teaching materials and reduce duplication of effort where appropriate. We presented the AUC's project and heard from Liz Lawrenson of Landex, who discussed agricultural courses in Further Education. Liz offered insights and a positive outlook on the development of critical thinking, and a range of increasingly sought-after industry skills, in FE education. A range of FE and Higher Education (HE) lecturers, programme leads and industry experts joined in the discussion to explore how, a teaching and learning group, we can best equip agricultural students looking forward to careers within the sector.

Study tent filled with attendees
Rethinking Agricultural Education session

AUC Reception

This session was closely followed by drinks in the tent, which offered an opportunity to chat with agricultural universities and Landex colleges. A range of progressive, cutting edge research is undertaken by the AUC, and Groundswell was the perfect place to showcase some of this exciting work and the people behind it. The reception bought together of a range of expertise and experience, with lots of exciting discussion around opportunities within agricultural education and research. We are grateful to Landex for sponsoring the reception, and for Pershore Press (of Pershore College) and Stroud Brewery for the refreshments after a very hot June day!

Farmer and grower research priorities

AUC have been running a project with farming organisations to host workshops gathering farmers and growers' research priorities. Some preliminary findings were shared at the session that related to regenerative agriculture, and a full report is out this summer.

Universities and colleges representatives chatting with attendees
AUC Reception


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