Rebecca Thorpe studied our BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology with a specialist focus on Agriculture
After completing Animal Biology at Brooksby College I decided to extend my knowledge within the exotic area of animal management and enrolled onto the Zoo Biology course at NTU Brackenhurst campus.
Strengths of the course
Coming from an agricultural background enabled me to have an open mind and gain more from the varied content taught on the course. The course has covered a diverse range of topics which have been built upon year-on-year, strengthening my knowledge. Assignments set have encouraged further reading and study around the course and have allowed for my areas of personal interest to be explored.
Dissertation project success
My dissertation project was the Lincoln Red, Young Bull Performance Scheme 2012/13. I have a keen enthusiasm for cattle and the farming industry as a whole which influenced my choice of dissertation subject. In conjunction with the Lincoln Red Cattle Society the young bull performance scheme was initiated to identify an applicable sire for AI purposes. It also set out to determine the success of integrating European genetics into the Lincoln Red breed to improve feed conversion efficiency and daily weight gain.
Communication between personnel involved in the bull trial such as Lincoln Red breeders, the Lincoln Red Society, Signet Breeding Services and BOCM Pauls, has helped me acquire valuable information and has helped to create a network of contacts which has led to a possible job opportunity with BOCM Pauls Agricultural Feeds when I graduate.
Throughout the duration of my three year study at NTU I chose to do work experience at Home Farm located on the Brackenhurst campus. The opportunity to complete work experience was an independent decision and not a requirement of my course. With a positive work ethic and willingness to learn I have advanced my knowledge of agriculture. The different management systems and techniques of herdmanship illustrated by Neil Hogdson, the farm bailiff, has also motivated me and encouraged further learning. Alongside work experience at the farm I also used the facilities for my final year dissertation, deeming the farm an invaluable asset to my study at Brackenhurst.
My greatest accomplishment at NTU Brackenhurst was working alongside the Lincoln Red Cattle Society during my dissertation and further presenting my study to the society at their 2013 AGM as a guest speaker.
Enthusiastic agriculture team
The enthusiasm demonstrated by academic staff regarding their specialist areas has in turn encouraged my own desire to learn. The persistence and passion illustrated by the agricultural staff with pedigree livestock and the use of advanced management systems has further developed my enthusiasm towards farming and in turn encouraged me to develop modern business aspiration for the future.
Brackenhurst is a great place to study, offering an array of learning facilities that further allocate diverse opportunities within areas of interest. The Brackenhurst campus permits invaluable work experience prospects and extra curriculum studies to students. Also being here has enabled me to meet some amazing people and acquire some exceptional and life-long friends.
I would happily recommend the Zoo Biology course to any upcoming student. It has helped me broaden my knowledge within the animal sector and has covered numerous aspects. A mixture of advanced knowledge and execution of that knowledge through the study of zoo biology can be applied to any situation within the farming industry.
My career aspirations reside undoubtedly within the agricultural industry. Although I have a vast knowledge of agriculture, acquired from running the family farm alongside my dad and other jobs within the industry. I feel there is still so much to learn and would love to further my knowledge by travelling and working on farms in New Zealand and America.
I have been offered a job through the completion of my dissertation by BOCM Pauls Agricultural Feed and I will be taking them up on the offer, so it looks like the travelling may have to wait a little longer. In the long term I hope to run a suckler herd of between 80 and 100 cows, annually marketing the calves at eight months as stores.
Set for the future
Throughout my study at NTU, I have really developed my communication skills via presentations to audiences, public speaking and networking. Good communication alongside understanding of the business and the industry has opened up the opportunity to become a viable sales rep within BOCM Pauls.
Although zoo biology, which I chose to study, differs greatly to my career aspirations it has secured my future in the agricultural industry. The ability to study animal related subjects had enabled me to broaden my knowledge and apply it to farming, developing an open mind and broadening my business aspirations and ideas.
Read more student profiles