Farming lecturer re-traces his roots

Bob Shaw with his sheepdog Mist.Bob Shaw with his sheepdog Mist.
Bob Shaw with his sheepdog Mist.
A college lecturer has returned to his roots to deliver agricultural lecturers in County Durham.

Bob Shaw has returned to the Houghall campus of East Durham College as the new agricultural lecturer, to teach the next generation of farmers.

He will be passing on his skills in areas such as sheep shearing, dry stone walling, small holding and lambing. The courses will be open

to those aged 16 and upwards.

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Bob, 58, from Durham, said: “I was born less than a mile away from Houghall. I attended school just half a mile from here too - while I was there, I used to come here on day release and took every course I could in agriculture.

“Forty years later, I’m back at the Houghall campus. It’s my time now to give something back – I’ve learned a lot during my career and I’m excited to teach

everything I can to everyone on one of our courses.”

East Durham College recently invested £13.25 million redeveloping Houghall and this investment included an ultra-modern new pig unit and a new cattle unit with six large pens and forage store to supplement the existing sheep unit at the original farm site.

Farming is a big passion for Bob. He’d always wanted to be a farmer, and over his 40 year career, has worked around the world in locations including Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and France.

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Bob has also owned his own farming business, employing 28 people from many different locations. In one year, the business lambed over 50,000 sheep.

As part of his previous work, Bob was also selected as Farming Ambassador for the North West, where he was trained to speak publicly about farming-related

issues such as Foot and Mouth disease to the general public toincrease awareness.

He said: “I have had a good career in farming, it’s my time to turn it around and put back what I have learned by teaching at Houghall.

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“I’m extremely passionate that it’s not always farmers’ sons and daughters who make the best farmers; you can come from any walk of life and find success in the farming industry.

Bob will also be teaching Level 1 and 2 full time agriculture students on his return.