This week we've been to visit the Anglada family, owners of the Coll Fred company. This business is located in the Vidrà area of the Garrotxa region where it produces and sells high quality meat and cured ham products from its own shops.
Our first year superior-level pig breeding students were able to see first-hand how and why the company has become a leader in its sector. The whole process starts at Mas Cavaller de Baix where the company selects with precision and care the animals of the Llemosina breed. The students were also able to see the workshop where the pork and beef based end products are actually made.
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On the 4th of December this year we will host a technical day at Quintanes called ´Pruning criteria; synthesis and practise.` It will be hosted by the biologist and tree-specialist Mr Josep Selga.
09.30: Introduction; given by Mr Antoni Martorell, director of EFA Quintanes.
09.45: Tree reading; given by Mr Josep Selga.
11.15: Coffee break.
11.45: Technical criteria for pruning; given by Mr Josep Selga.
13.15: Day's closure.
Course Objective: This course is aimed at those involved in the above areas. Its objective is to train attendees to be specialised in animal welfare during the transportation process. Course dates: On Fridays 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st of January 2014. From 17.00 until 21.00. General part: 190€. Specialised part: 75€
On the 29th of October the second year, superior level pig breeding students visited the Viladordis area, in the county of Bages, to see the Tatjé family farm. Years ago the family had wanted to expand the farm and decided to breed rabbits. They already had cows and had moved into pigeon breeding as well. At present they have 550 hybrid mother rabbits and sell 50% of the stock to butchers in the region. As mentioned, the family has also been able to make reality an idea they had had in mind for many years, that of breeding pigeons. They now have 250 pairs which on average produce 16 young a year. They sell them directly to the restaurant industry.
During the last fortnight the first year medium-level forestry students went on a study visit to the MAP Foundation in Ripoll. The head of the gardening and forestry department, Agustí Fajula, explained to the group how the section is organised and how the tasks of the more than 40 workers are planned. He gave a number of useful pieces of advice on how to find work and then stressed the importance of safety at work. To finish we were able to see one of his teams at work.
Several weeks ago we took advantage of the good relationship we have with our neighbours here at the school to take the first year medium-level pig breeding and production students to the nearby Granja Soler farm. Once we had arrived at the farm we were met and hosted by Mr Toni Soler, son of Mr Jacint Soler who founded the ´Soler Ramaders` company 50 years ago in the middle of Sant Hipòlit, with 4 sows and the young they produced. Right now the company has 1850 sows and a capacity to breed more than 20,000 animals.
During the week of the 28th October to the 1st November the first year, higher level students of forestry went on a study trip to Sòria. There they made many visits related to their field of study and the region's foresty management, in which students learned a great deal about the way forests are utilised. It was especially interesting as the region's system of forestry management differs somewhat from our own in Catalonia. Students discovered new ways of working.
On the 22nd of October some of the school's students visited El Serradet de Barneres farm, in l'Esquirol. This is a small-scale business dedicated to the production and sale of sheep 's milk products, these include cream cheese and yoghurt, as well as cured cheese in the near future. We were well looked after by Sergi and Maria, two of the three partners. It was especially interesting to see how they succesfully operate, given that they do not come from a farming background. Their philosophy dictates that they grow gradually until they can make a reasonable living from the enterprise. The maximum number of sheep they plan to have is 100, at present they have a herd of 70.
On the 24th of October the first year students from the forestry and environment management course visited thefacilities of two important forestry-related companies; the forest nurseries of Forestal Catalana in Breda and Vivers Tortadès in Sant Hilari de Sacalm. In both places the students learned about the production process,work management, the facilities and machinery used. In addition, they enjoyed the demonstrations of soil and plant extraction out in the field.
From the 15th to the 24th of November the University of Vic is organising their 18th Science Week. Quintanes School is certainly participating in a talk about ´Alternance Pedagogy`, as well as an activity of ´Discovering autumn forest vegetation. It will no doubt be of great interest!
On the 23rd of October the first year pig breeding students visited Mas Bes in Salitja. This is a milk-producing farm which provides milk to ATO Natura, a product which is rich in Omega-3 fat acids. Joan Viñolas and Carles Comas explained to us about the company's evolution, as well as its day-to-day running and the Biogàs plant which produces electricity.
On the 3rd of October the second year medium-level gardening students visited the company BRUCJARDÍ in Llinars del Vallès. Mr Francesc Caballero, director of the business, showed us around the facilities, highlighting the most recent trends in the world of gardening. We particularly enjoyed the enthusiasm with which he conducted the visit, it was very much appreciated.
Between the 7th and 11th of October the above student group went on the yearly course trip, 22 students were involved. They visited the river Tarn ´Midi Pyrénées` area of France, close to Castres and Albi. There they visited various organisations that work in the pig breeding sector, attended talks and could see some of its cultural sights too. All in all, it was a very positive experience for the students, as well as for the teachers Xevi Pujol and Josep Bagaria.
Last Thursday, 17th of October, the first year forestry students visited the wood and forestry project company owned by Josep Cuch, an ex-student of the school. Josep explained to us how the company works, its future projects and history, and also showed us the machines it uses.
Last week the first year pig production students made their first study trip. Mr Jordi Casals received them at his home, l'Escanera. His company is very much a family-owned business typical of Osona and our students were able to see how the farm is run.
The objective of this course is to train students as specialised staff in animal welfare for livestock farms. The course is intended for working or unemployed people interested in obtaining the Animal Welfare certificate demanded by the European Union. It will take place in the afternoons in October, from 17.00 to 21.00.
On the 2nd of October the second year pig breeding production course students visited Mas Reixagò, in Olost de Lluçanès. This is a company that offers various services: crop production, milk production, pig breeding, solar powered electricity provision and also cheese making.The students were able to learn all about the business and its progression into different sectors to generate more profits.
On Friday 4th October the students from the above medium-level course gained experience driving a tractor. Josep Bagaria and Joan Rifà were responsible for running the activity and testing the students' abilities. All students put their skills to the test.
Course Objective: This course is aimed at those involved in the above areas. Its objective is to train attendees to be specialised in animal welfare during the transportation process. Course dates: 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th of April, 3rd of May. From 17.00 until 21.00. General part: 190€. Specialised part: 75€