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Bus(Y)ness as usual…

I love that no two days are the same – as they say – variety is the spice of life. But since returning back to Easton this term, every day has been a whirlwind of activity and I’ve found the only way to keep on top of my schedule is to have (and stick to) a very carefully planned diary!

It started with the bake sale which was a massive success – raising £100 for our college charities! Lots of delicious cake was enjoyed and there was very little left at the end of the day, thank you to everyone that helped out!

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I was drafted in last minute to attend SIA – the French farming show, which was a spectacular showcase of all things farming. I visited the show alongside Charlie Askew, Holly Lutkin and Holly Sleightholme. The girls are level three agricultural students who earned some very respectable positions in an international stock judging competition held at the show, no mean feat! It was a fantastic and full itinerary (which involved lots of sampling cheese and meats) and a great opportunity to see agriculture on a national scale.

Since then, we’ve had visits to a controlled traffic farming event as well as a visit to the amazing Bechhithe beef unit and although this means missing class time, the opportunity to learn in a real life environment is an invaluable supplement to in-class learning. Life is all about balance and the ability to prioritise is paramount; work and play are equally important! I know some of the HE animal science students have recently visited Africa which sounded incredible; what an opportunity.

Although I could not attend Easton lambing weekend, it was great to see the event was so well received as ever, giving lots of people the opportunity to see new-born lambs and learn about farming, as well as giving our students the chance to show off their skills!

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So it’s back to Student President duties for me; after unfortunately missing the last two Student Council meetings due to other commitments, I am glad to see from the minutes that people are keen for the idea of an end of year celebration for students, involving a festival theme with music and food! This sounds fantastic and I’d love as many people to keep getting involved as possible. I’ll be rolling out some further information/ideas out over the next few weeks so please watch this space.

In the meantime; any other ideas or comments, please send them my way!

If anything exciting is happening in your courses, I’d love to hear from you to include in my blog.

Phoebe

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Cattle and cakes…

Hi all!
What a busy few weeks it has been! It’s back to Easton for me today to begin the second semester and work through lots of assignments!

It seems like a long time since I’ve sat down for lectures but I was eased gently back into the prospect of it again by spending the last few days in seminars, at the British Cattle Breeders Conference, alongside other HE and FE students. I think I can speak for us all, when I say that we feel privileged to have heard some of the best industry speakers in genomics, economics and a range of other topics and we certainly have come away from the conference feeling both inspired and informed!

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It really hit home to me just how important it is to make the most of these opportunities presented to us and it’d be great if there were a greater student attendance for the conference next year, I cannot explain how worthwhile these extra curricular events are; the opportunity to attend such a prestigious event and network with those working in the industry is invaluable in terms of finding our way into the world of work. The trip was made so affordable by our links to EDGE careers and Anglia Farmers, through Natasha Waller and we are all so grateful for the whole opportunity, including being able to don our glad rags and attend the Burns Night club dinner!

It was such a positive experience in all and as Charlie Askew reiterated to us, students are the future of the business and the club were so keen to enthuse and involve the colleges that attended and I feel motivated by Charlie’s obvious enthusiasm to provide these opportunities for us and ensure we realised the importance of our engagement in and outside of our learning at Easton- please make the most of the trips available to us, we all feel so grateful to Charlie for getting us involved in the conference and for ferrying us all the way to Shropshire and back too!

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On a different note, you may have seen the various adverts on social media and around college for our Valentine’s bake sale for the college charities! I’d love as many people as possible to support this event, be that in baking cakes, buying goods on the day or helping out with the organisation of it! Please see the posters on this blog for more information and get involved!

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Also, take a look at the main Easton and Otley website, it’s had a revamp and is looking really fresh and engaging!

Next weekend for me involves attending a Course Advice Day at Easton to show prospective students and their parents just how good our college is and I’ll be doing some tours alongside other student ambassadors. I’m really looking forward to taking these tours, as the last time I assisted on tours at my training CAD, I was astounded to see all of the incredible facilities such as the animal care unit and the construction centre – because I don’t tend to use these facilities I had no idea just how extensive and excellent they are and I think it is so important we are really aware of all aspects of our college so we can appreciate and also promote the facilities in our day to day lives. So if you haven’t seen all of the facilities and have friends on other courses, perhaps it could be organised with staff that you can go and have a look just what we have on our campus, I’m sure they’d be proud to show you around!

Well that’s all from me for now,

Hope to see lots of people buying cakes next week in aid of our very worthwhile charities!

Phoebe

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First blog post!

Thoughts for the new year…

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Hi everyone!

Well it’s 2017 and a new year is here at last and as ever, full of opportunity and a chance to make a difference. Not only in our own lives, but also for those all around us, those who we work and study with each day and also those in the wider community. In this ever surprising world, so full of change and often so full of unrest, we must be the good and be the change we want to see, by reaching out and working as a team, and I think our college community is a great place to start, which is where I am focusing my sights for the year ahead.

I’ve taken time over the festive period to think of how to make the best of this new year in my new role, as Student President, to really make a difference and seize all of the opportunities that I and we can, as a college. I will work closely with Becky, Otley Student President, as well as the Student Services Team and all of the Student Ambassadors, to develop the rapport between the two campuses and to bring us all together as a united front, making a positive and lasting impact on the community; showcasing the diverse range of skills and interests that members of our college community have, which will be so useful and appreciated in creating and supporting innovative charity fundraising and social events, whilst raising awareness and funds for our chosen college charities, Walking with the Wounded and Gardens for the Gambia.

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Today I have had some really positive experiences on my first day back working at college. Firstly, I was inspired during my new role induction session lead by our college Principal, David Henley. He made some points which really resonated with me and encapsulated many of my aims for this year, in developing links between FE and HE students, encouraging proactivity, pride and passion; for our courses, our college, our future and in ourselves. Ultimately to inspire skills for a sustainable future and creating a strong unity across the sister colleges, demonstrating to all, that through our diverse skills and bespoke programmes, that we are a leading land based college where we are proud to work, learn and grow.

I then moved on to the superbly well attended Student Council meeting. It was refreshing to see representatives from so many courses taking interest and actively taking responsibility in their learning and learning environment and confidently be able to communicate their ideas in a forum of many other people, including staff members. This is so important, that we all continue to work together to identify our strengths and celebrate them, whilst acknowledging what could be better and working towards constantly improving our college for all of us, remembering that happy students are successful students.

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Whatever focuses you choose to zero in on this coming year, be it fitness goals or academic achievements, I urge you to see the widespread benefits of getting involved in the college community and fundraising events. You can make new friends and contacts, whilst developing meaningful life and workplace skills, which can enhance your CV and give you the edge when it comes to being able to speak about your other personal achievements or accolades. How impressive is it to say you have perhaps been a part of raising money for a national or international charity, by organising events, promoting ideas on the radio or on social media, speaking to the general public or figureheading lots of other exciting ideas and events (some of which will be revealed shortly, watch this space..!) And if nothing else, the sense of pride knowing you have made a positive difference – for a charity or for improving the future of our college for yourself, your peers and for future students, makes the opportunities on offer, so worthwhile.

So if you have any ideas, be brave and speak up and take an active role in your education and development, make the most of every opportunity and be proud to be a member of Easton and Otley College!

As I’ve mentioned before, if you’ve got any ideas, queries or would like to be a part of the fundraising team, please get in contact with me either through Yammer, or via my student email address (3020184@students.eastonotley.ac.uk). I’ll soon be posting some upcoming event details and ideas which I’d love as many people as possible to get involved with!

Thats all from me for now, back to assignments…good luck to everyone handing in assignments or who have taken exams this month-don’t the festivities of Christmas seem a lifetime ago now!?

Until next time…

Phoebe