How it all began
In 1919 Rodbaston estate was sold from a private owner to South Staffordshire Council thus changing the role of the hall from a family residence to become a college.
During the First World War food shortages had almost brought the country to its knees and the Ministry of Agriculture recognised that each county would need an agricultural institute to help promote farming and food production. Rodbaston was chosen as one of the first of four institutes formed in the country.
Staffordshire County Farm Institute
Staffordshire was quick off the mark in developing its own institute and by 1921 Staffordshire County Farm Institute was thriving, and was described by a Ministry report as, “a leader in making the fullest possible use of the resources of education for the benefit of agriculture and the agricultural community” and the Institute’s plans were described as, “a model of what a county scheme should be”.
The first batch of 25 students, all male, moved into the hall in their new living quarters and classes started in 1921 under the guidance of the first principal, Mr John C Rushton.