While attending the Scottish Royal Highlands Show, Jeanette and I were lucky enough to run into a gentleman by the name of Fraser Wilson. Fraser is an instructor of Agriculture Engineering at the Scotland Royal College (SRUC), and though Fraser would be away on “holiday”, he took time to schedule a tour for us with the agriculture department head, Peter Scott. We started our visit over a cup of coffee, and a discussion of agriculture and agriculture education in our respective countries. We found some similarities, as well as some differences in how each country delivers education.
Scotland does not teach agriculture in their secondary school system; it was removed from the curriculum about fifteen years ago with the desire to move towards a greater emphasis in math, science and English, it is now up to the colleges to provide education in specific disciplines. . The only agriculture experience a student receives is through their Young Farmers organization which is very similar to the 4H program we have in the states. At SRUC they provide education in agriculture similar to the community college system in California. They offer certificates and degrees in agriculture as well as prepare students to enter the university in pursuit of advanced degrees. After our discussion over coffee we toured the campus, spent time with agriculture mechanics / welding instructors, and ended with lunch in the student dining hall. Our tour and discussion with Mr. Scott was very informative, and we were able to leave that day with a greater idea of practices, though different than our own, lead to the same goals.