Thirty students are celebrating their graduation this month after completing the Livestock Market Operations and Management course at Harper Adams University.
Sponsored by the Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA), the course has run since 2011 and is attracting more students every year.
Topics covered on the course include animal welfare and health in the livestock market, market operational management, law and tax for the livestock auctioneer, valuations and supply chain relationships and preparing students for a career in the livestock auctioneering and handling industries.
Chris Dodds, executive secretary of the LAA said: "By educating potential auctioneers with training in welfare, droving and operational management, we can continue to improve the efficiency and standards of auction marts across the UK. We are pleased to welcome these graduates into the LAA and the IAAS and look forward to supporting them in their careers.”
Many of the students on the course are already working in livestock marketing businesses.
Why did you apply for the course?
“I was already working for Harrison and Hetherington and lots of people I met recommended I consider doing the Harper Adams course. It seemed a good idea for my future career to gain a broader understanding of the industry beyond what happens during the auction itself.”
What qualifications are required?
“Each student has to be in full-time employment of a corporate member of the Livestock Auctioneers Association or the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers for Scotland
What did the course entail?
“The course was great, it made me appreciate the whole industry including EU directives and their impacts, finance and balance sheets and more generally about how trends can affect the auction industry.
“Most importantly, the course put a great deal of emphasis on animal health and welfare legislation and health and safety. It helped us to further understand the importance of high welfare standards and how to implement best practice within livestock markets, including drover-training, which resulted in us all having a greater understanding of how the auction mart really is the best place for animals to be bought and sold, for both financial and welfare reasons.”
What was your favourite part of the course?
“It was good to meet auctioneers from all over the country and understand how different marts work.”
What is the most challenging part of the course?
“The most challenging part was probably finding time to do the coursework when you are working full-time. I would encourage anyone who is thinking of doing the course to make sure they set aside time to finish all of the coursework that needs to be done.”
What are your future plans upon graduation?
“I plan to continue to work at Harrison and Hetherington and try and do as much business as possible while building relationships and contacts with as many farmers and people in the industry as I can.”
What would be your advice to those thinking about applying?
“Give yourself plenty of time, do your background reading and don’t leave everything the last minute.”