George F White gives Newcastle University students insight into renting farms

Broxfield Farm, near Alnwick, proved the perfect choice for practical demonstrations, featuring a traditional building converted into a classroom

Northumberland farmer's son Robert Thompson, who works at George F White
Northumberland farmer's son Robert Thompson, who works at George F White

A land and property specialist which has bases throughout the North has given Newcastle University students the chance to gain the practical experience required to complete a critical part of their agricultural degrees.

As part of the course, students are asked to prepare a business plan in support of a tender to rent a farm.

Since the university required them to visit and work with a real life example, George F White stepped in and secured Broxfield Farm near Alnwick for the project.

Dr Philip Cain, senior lecturer in Farm Business Management at Newcastle University, said “We could not run these projects without the help and co-operation of local farmers.

“It is essential that students are exposed to real-life business situations in their farm management course.

“Broxfield Farm gave the students a great opportunity to apply their management knowledge due to its size and mixture of enterprises.

“We have a good working relationship with George F White, who have specialist farming and agricultural knowledge, and kindly thank them for arranging the visit and talking to the students.”

The 650-acre site is currently run as a mixed organic farm producing Aberdeen Angus cross beef and organic cereals.

It also has a classroom facility for students to learn about and take notes on the practicalities of day-to-day work on a real-life farm business.

Robert Thompson, a rural practice surveyor at George F White, prepared and delivered a presentation on the day of the students’ visit, providing an insight into issues around renting land from both the landowner’s and tenant’s perspective.

He said: “One of the farm’s traditional buildings had previously been converted in to a classroom with desks and chairs where students could settle down and really learn about the practical aspects of renting a farm.

“We thought it would be most useful for the students to be given a short talk about the fundamentals of farm renting. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and I wish the students all the best in achieving the results they need.”

Dr Cain added: “The students responded very well to the day which no doubt will be reflected in their coursework project so this visit is something they’re very grateful for.”

George F. White is the largest independent firm of RICS Chartered Surveyors in the North of England, employing 120 staff across seven offices spanning from Duns in the Scottish border to Shiptonthorpe, near York.

The company is divided into 12 different business areas operating across four different sectors - residential, agricultural, commercial and leisure.

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