Now Sales Director at one of the largest farm machinery manufacturers in the UK, former Farm Mechanisation student Simon Weaving is sure his studies at Wiltshire College & University Centre helped set him on the way.
Simon has been passionate about farm machinery for as long as he can remember. With his father establishing Weaving Machinery in 1983, he always had fond childhood memories of driving tractors and designed his first quad bike-driven harrow when he was just 10 years old.
This passion fueled his decision to pursue a career in the industry and enrol onto the National Diploma in Farm Mechanisation (NDFM) course at Lackham in 2006.
Simon said: “I chose to study at Lackham because it was a practical, hands-on course. The subject matter was well suited for my chosen career direction as I already knew I would have a future working with farm machinery.
“I also liked that the course offered a work placement year, during which time I went to Ireland and worked on a large arable farm driving and fixing farm equipment. The practical element of the work placement really progressed my learning.”
After successfully completing his course in 2009, Simon continued to gain experience and worked on another arable farm in the Cotswolds for two years before taking up the reins in the family business from 2011.
He is now Sales Director at Weaving Machinery, a company that offers equipment for the whole farm from drills and cultivators, to hedge cutters and flail mowers, and even electric gates.
Simon added: “My core focus is the development of our seed drills under our own brand. I also deliver machinery demonstrations around the UK as well as coordinate our overseas sales representatives.”
As advice for current or prospective students aiming to get into the industry, Simon said: “Never shy away from getting some hands-on practical experience, that is where the real knowledge comes from. It’s a hard industry to crack but once you’re in, it’s a great environment to be in.
“A lot of my peers went on from school into university, as is the trend these days. I knew this wasn’t suited to me as I never excelled at exams, and I knew that this course offered me far more than an academic degree would.
“I would encourage more people to take this route in education to set them up for a career in agriculture.”
To find out more about our agriculture courses at Lackham, click here.
Wiltshire College & University Centre is launching a new Alumni Network this summer to celebrate the success of our former students as well as provide the opportunity for those who have left to reconnect with the College.
If you have a story you’d like us to celebrate, email email@example.com and help us share your success - and be sure to look out for the launch of our Alumni Network later this summer.