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Harper Adams University student Ella Forrest has received an NFU Mutual Centenary Trust Award.
The Centenary Award scheme gives annual bursaries of up to 75 per cent of course fees for selected UK postgraduate students on an agriculture masters or PhD programme. The Centenary Award has been running for over 100 years and has helped applicants to continue to study in the agricultural sector.
The 23 year-old MSc Ruminant Nutrition student from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, said: “Receiving this award has shown me that being from a non-farming background isn’t a barrier to getting into the agricultural industry; even if it may mean you have to work a bit harder to get there.
“To think I’m being supported by the NFU Mutual is amazing. I’m so grateful for this opportunity. I was stunned when I received the email confirming I’d been chosen as one of the four people to be selected for the award.”
Announcing the recipients for 2017, Richard Percy, NFU Mutual Chairman, said: “We recognise the crucial role students in agriculture play in shaping the future of the industry. Our aim for the Centenary Award scheme is to create a long-standing legacy, and demonstrate our commitment to young people and the countryside.
“We are delighted to be supporting Emma, Joe, Ella and Callum with their studies, and wish them all the very best for the future.”
Ella, who graduated from Harper Adams with a BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare, said: “The funding will allow me to continue experiencing different aspects of the agricultural industry without the additional pressures of earning money alongside my studies. During the time I’ll spend on the farms, I expect to improve my understanding of the different management practices.
“I’d like to thank the NFU Mutual Centenary Trust for providing me with this amazing opportunity; the Harper Adams career service for making me aware of this opportunity as well as the University itself for providing endless learning opportunities.
“Lastly, I’d also like to thank my parents for their continuing support.”
Jonathan Huxtable has graduated from Harper Adams University with a Masters degree in ruminant nutrition and is currently working as the ruminant country manager for the UK and Ireland for an international company, even though his undergraduate degree is in sport.
Jonathan, 30, from Gloucester, Gloucestershire, said: “I decided to take the course so that I could continue to progress in my animal nutrition career and to use the knowledge learned to have a positive impact on animal welfare and production.
“My undergraduate degree is in sport. I’m not from a farming background and had only been on a farm once before and that was to play in a hay barn.
“After I graduated from my undergraduate degree, there was an opportunity to go into ruminant nutrition. I spent a couple of weeks on farms milking cows and getting an idea of what it’s all about. I really enjoyed it and caught the farming bug.
“On coming into the industry, I realised my learning needed further development for me to be successful.
“I originally started coming to Harper to do the diploma in ruminant nutrition, which I’d been invited to do by the company I was working for. The course was a great stepping stone for me.
“After completing the diploma, I was approached by one of the lecturers and was offered the opportunity to study on the master’s programme.
“It wouldn’t have been feasible to do the master’s course without the continuing support from the staff at Harper and on that basis alone, I’d recommend others in my situation looking to study around work to seriously consider Harper. The staff understood the challenges of juggling a full-time job, family and studying part-time.
“I’m very passionate about this industry, especially dairy cows. I can imagine myself working in this area for years, unlike the field of sports which I wasn’t passionate about enough.”
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