David Singleton

I grew up in a rural part of Northwest Lancashire with my family, my father was a feed rep who was well known in the locality as he and some local farmers instigated the Wyreside Farmers Club. As a small child I remember spending many hours driving to various farms in a Morris Marina, and sometimes being invited into farmhouses to be spoilt, this must have ignited a flame in me and the interest in farming started to grow.
I was lucky enough to have a neighbour who had a son the same age as me, so I spent many days at the farm, learning skills that would stand me in good stead. I suspect I was more of a hinderance than help, but from the age of about 10, I would feed up, fill feed hoppers, muck out and do my best to build my knowledge.

For me, it was a natural progression to study agriculture when I left school, so I signed up for the YTS programme at Lancashire College of Agriculture and Horticulture (now Myerscough College) where I worked on a local farm and attended college on day release once a week. When the scheme ended, I decided to do a full-time course for one year, which on completion was going to lead to a further three years, but due to family illness I went to work and had to curtail my education. I was taken on as a general farm worker come assistant herdsman where I learned how to graft in an old school way. I continued to study one day a week undertaking phase 3 dairy enterprise management and accounts and records. After a family bereavement I took stock and left the farm where I worked then got a job at Lancashire College of Agriculture and Horticulture as a technician in 1988. It was my job to prepare equipment for classes, complete audits for county council and assist during practical sessions. Before long I was teaching and assessing learners and still to this day have former students that say to me “brush, brush, tap tap.” In recognition of the very first sessions, they were taught when arriving at college. The job for me initially started as a temporary position with me fully expecting to return to full time farm work, but, as my teaching role developed, I found that I had discovered my true vocation and decided to pursue a career educating young people starting in the industry. I went to night school to study for a formal teaching qualification which has helped me to progress becoming a lecturer some 26 years ago. The beauty of education is that it never stands still, that teamed with the knowledge that young people still have enquiring minds drives me to try to be the best tutor I can. I like to think that I have made a small contribution towards the learner’s education and helped to spark an interest to help young people expand their horizons and pursue successful careers in our beloved industry. I will continue to pursue my career for as long as possible. It gives me great satisfaction to see former learners become successful businesspeople in their own right and I wish them every success. That is why I do my job.