A farm manager at one of Wales’ most popular family destinations has praised Farming Connect’s fully funded e-learning courses.

Kim Brickell, a farm manager at Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, near Tenby says that Farming Connect’s fully-funded e-learning courses have enabled her to “keep up to speed in my own time and at my own pace”, which has not only increased her skillset but enables her to impart that knowledge to other members of the Folly Farm team coming up behind her. 

From September 2023 onwards, all Farming Connect learners will be required to complete fully funded mandatory e-learning courses ahead of applying for more than half of the programme’s subsidised accredited training courses. 

With almost 80 accredited training courses currently available, broadly categorised under ‘business’, ‘livestock’ and ‘land’, by the autumn 48 of these will require completion of a mandatory e-learning course first.

Becky Summons, who manages Farming Connect’s animal health and welfare and e-learning service, said: “Learning the basics through relevant e-learning will be an essential pre-requirement before any registered individual can apply for selected accredited training.”

Topics where this will apply include Health & Safety, business, pesticide safety, cattle lameness and herd fertility.   

“Undertaking a short but relevant e-learning module before they undertake practical face-to-face training will give learners confidence and a beneficial head-start, so that they have the relevant basic knowledge and information they need beforehand.”

With 6,775 e-learning courses completed by registered individuals since 2015, it’s clear that online learning is a popular and important part of Farming Connect’s training provision.  Learners study at a time and pace that suits them, enabling them to increase their skill set in an accessible and flexible way.  Most courses take around 20 minutes to complete, with a short quiz at the end of each one providing reassurance that the key information has been learned. 

Kim Brickell added: “Whatever Farming Connect e-learning topic you’re interested in is easily accessed and you know you will get the key information you need, pitched at the right level, in a clear and concise way.” 

Kim is a keen advocate of utilising Storfa Sgiliau, Farming Connect’s online data storage facility which records all her CPD activities and achievements, enabling her to identify any gaps in her skills and plan her future career progression.  

Storfa Sgiliau is a personal online record-keeping tool offering:

  • Certificates for all completed Farming Connect e-learning courses and accredited training courses uploaded for you
  • Instant access to all your skills, qualifications and achievements in one secure place
  • Evidence your skills for farm assurance schemes, supply chain partners or to update your CV

For further information on all Farming Connect training options or for guidance on the application process, visit www.gov.wales/farmingconnect. Alternatively, contact the Farming Connect Service Centre on 03456 000 813 or your local development officer.