Writtle University College (WUC) is recognised and ranked as a top University provider in the East of England for overall student satisfaction with teaching. Established in 1893, WUC has been producing leaders in land-based industries and organisations for more than 120 years. It is one of the oldest specialist institutions in the UK and offers a range of land-based, animal and sports courses at various levels of academic study including Postgraduate, Undergraduate, Further Education, Short Courses and Apprenticeships.
They attract students locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Their facilities and resources, based on a very picturesque campus of approximately 150 hectares, are used to enhance the student learning experience, enabling them to gain both theoretical and practical skills whilst studying with them. WUC has a history of achieving excellence and being recognised a market leader. They have award-winning alumni that have gone on to become leaders in their industry sectors. Due to ongoing growth, WUC is now looking for a key individual to join them as their Farm Estate Manager.
Interview with Professor Tim Middleton, Vice Chancellor of WUC – Click to View
Key Aims of the Role:
To proactively manage the ongoing development and maintenance of the institution’s green estate, aligning the commercial activity to curriculum needs and creating the ongoing shift towards regenerative practices. This includes line-managing farm staff, responsibility for the maintenance and presentation of the farm site; cattle and sheep livestock operations; arable and conservation areas (including a developing regenerative crops area) and all grazing/forage conservation areas (including equine). This role will be responsible for the delivery of a resource that supports a high-quality learning and teaching environment for students, staff and external visitors, that enables the educational objectives of the institution and reflects the University College’s core values.
- Be responsible for the daily management of the farm site, ensuring exemplary standards of presentation, tidy and efficient working practices, upkeep and maintenance of farm building stock (in conjunction with WUC’s Property team) and operational efficiencies.
- Work with curriculum colleagues to provide input into teaching and support farm-based trials where appropriate; often involving direct contact with a group of students to explain/discuss operational practice and development intent.
- Be responsible for the management of the sheep and cattle, ensuring exemplary welfare and compliance with Red Tractor standards as well as maximising revenue-generating opportunities.
- Manage the small arable acreage, overseeing the strategic intent to operate the farm utilising regenerative practices, taking care to manage new regenerative initiatives proactively and in full agreement with the relevant academic staff.
- To line manage all individuals employed on the farm. Undertake regular reviews of work and conduct the annual Performance Development Reviews (PDR).
- Work with WUC colleagues to identify and provide support for ‘open farm’ events for prospective students, industry representatives and the general public. Be responsible for representing WUC at such events in a way that engenders pride in their farmed operations.
- Develop, implement and maintain suitable health management plans for the livestock units, working in conjunction with the Pig Unit Manager and vet to ensure that all livestock is managed in an exemplary fashion.
- Undertake purchasing and sales, in liaison with the Finance Office and University College Leadership Group.
- To coordinate, in conjunction with academic staff and other stakeholders, the development and implementation of a 5-year rolling plan for the Farm that focuses on the needs of the University Colleges’ further and higher education students.
- To provide: the information required for the Farm estate element of the annual University College budget; monthly financial performance reports to the Management Accountant; and quarterly forecast outturns
- Supervise and provide instruction and assessment for students undertaking unit duties on the estate.
What we Want to Ideally See from You:
- A proven record of working within and managing a busy farm-based team, forming and communicating a clear vision and encouraging individuals to contribute to a common goal.
- Previous experience in a similar role – pure farming operations (including livestock management and crop diversity) and potentially in an educational environment as well would be very beneficial.
- Excellent communication skills both oral and written.
- Ability to proactively and actively carry out standard day-to-day liaison across the college to meet desired outcomes.
- The ability to undertake active collaboration through participation in networks/groups within the University College or externally to pursue shared interests that may provide a future benefit.
- Ability to plan, prioritise and organise work and resources for self and others.
- Excellent working knowledge of modern machinery.
- Postgraduate / Professional qualification or ability to demonstrate the relevant level of experience.
- Proven stockmanship skills
This role cannot be underestimated. For the right individual who wishes to make an ongoing difference on a commercial and environmental basis in a leading sector University environment, the position is truly unique.
To find out more, apply via this website or call contact Max MacGillivray on 01284 715055 quoting Ref: 05520M
Any third party applications will be directly forwarded to Redfox Executive Selection for review.