College students in Gwynedd got up close to some cutting-edge agriculture equipment worth over £1 million on an "eye-opening" visit to some of the UK's biggest firms recently.
The Level 2 and 3 land-based technology students from Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor's Glynllifon campus, near Caernarfon, took in a three-day tour of major agriculture businesses in Nottingham, Newark and York.
They saw the UK headquarters of heavy machinery manufacturers John Deere in Nottingham, they paid a visit to the 10,000-acre farming company Strawson Farms in Newark and got to see both Keith Rennie Machinery and Sumo UK's operations in York.
Glynllifon tutor Esmor Wyn Hughes said:
The students had the chance to see facilities and machinery up-close in these places, which was a huge eye-opener.
Visiting the industry most definitely enhances their knowledge of agricultural machinery and modern farming techniques and technologies.
The technology used in the industry is advancing quickly and keeping up with the latest developments is essential.
This was an excellent opportunity to update their knowledge of the latest models and technologies.
The students learnt about the cutting-edge of manufacturing technology at Sumo, including robotic welders, bending and cutting machinery and laser cutters worth £1.2 million.
At KRM, they were shown the latest in precision agriculture technology, and at John Deere they were given the chance to undergo technical training on John Deere combine harvesters and round balers.
The students also got the chance to see different combine harvester models at John Deere close-up.
Mr Hughes added:
The second year students had actually visited the factory that build these combines in Zweibrücken in Germany as part of their Summer tour last May.
It was excellent to have a follow up technical session on the working principles, adjustments and features of the machines.
The visit to Strawson Farms showed how carrots and parsnips are washed and packed before they end up in many of the UK's leading supermarkets.
Mr Hughes said:
The students can use their knowledge gained from these visits to strengthen and enrich their assignment with relevant technical answers.
The range of visits provides the learners with the latest developments in agricultural machinery as well as allowing them to familiarise themselves and learn about machinery that is rarely seen within their local area.