Four students have won scholarships that should help them forge careers in the UK pig industry.
The new BPEX Scholarships at Harper Adams University have been developed to encourage young adults into the pig sector. Each scholar receives £3,500 in sponsorship plus a guaranteed work placement with their sponsoring company. Subject to performance on placement, they might then receive a further financial award to support them as they complete their degree programmes.
Josie Hatch, 21, from Cirencester, a second year BSc (Hons) Animal Science student, is the new BPEX scholar supported by animal nutrition company Provimi. Josie, who previously attended Hartpury College and Cirencester Deer Park School, said: “The scholarship is a helping hand in reaching my goals by providing support through knowledge and finance. My goal is to be a successful pig nutritionist; helping farmers to develop their herds and to make their businesses more profitable through the use of diet formulation.
“I think that this sector is particularly exciting to be involved with due to the need for higher profit margins and continued high standards of welfare and meat quality that British farmers can pride themselves on.
“It’s a brilliant feeling that a company has chosen you out of all the other exceptional candidates; that they believe you will benefit their company. I owe all my thanks to Tim Sawyer for appreciating my initiative and keen interest in Provimi and the brilliant work they do.”
During 2014/15, Josie, a keen member of Cirencester Young Farmers, will spend 12 months working within the Pig Technical Team at Provimi, on rations and trials, with the opportunity to travel to the company’s Ireland offices and headquarters in the Netherlands.
Lauren Turnen, 20, from Shuttington, Tamworth, a second year agriculture degree student, is being supported by animal feed producer BOCM Pauls. The former Polesworth School pupil said: “The honour of receiving a BPEX Scholarship in conjunction with working for BOCM Pauls during my placement year is a fantastic opportunity for me.
“Receiving the award will enable me to pursue my dreams of working within this field of agriculture. Working with BOCM Pauls for a year will be extremely exciting and enrich my degree studies. I would like to thank all of my lecturers and staff at Harper Adams University, BPEX and BOCM Pauls for making this scholarship available to me.
“My placement will begin in July 2014 and last for 12 months. During this time I will be based in Diss, Norfolk, but will also have the opportunity for overseas travel. BOCM Pauls is the leading UK animal feed manufacturer and joining them will enable me to play a part in supporting livestock farmers making sure they remain sustainable and profitable. My ultimate ambition is to work within the nutrition industry as a nutritionist,” added Lauren, who plays for the Harper Adams Tennis Club.
Foundation agriculture student Sam Stephenson, 19, from Langtoft, will be supported by ARM Buildings. “The scholarship award is a great chance to prove myself amongst the best, with the chance to get a good job afterwards. I would like to say thank you to ARM buildings for giving me this opportunity,” said the former Askham Bryan College student, who will spend his placement year working in technical pig building sales, working from the company’s head office at Rugeley, Staffordshire.
Thomas Oates, 19, from Brixton, Plymouth, is the fourth BPEX scholar, supported by Wayland Agriculture. The former Plymouth College student said: “The pig industry excites me massively as there are opportunities to excel and be fascinated by the subjects within pig farming. Although I have never worked with pigs, while working with beef cattle I became most interested in improving performance through genetics and nutrition. I am every enthusiastic and excited by the opportunity to work with both indoor and outdoor pig production systems at Wayland Farms.”