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From HR to Animal Nutrition

Posted 14 July

“Harper Adams University was my first choice for my place of study due to its reputation within the agricultural industry and its more hands on learning approach which gives me both practical and academic development.”

Sian Southwell

Sian Southwell

While doing an apprenticeship in HR, Sian Southwell came to realise that her calling in life was to work in agriculture after working with a fresh food supplier and volunteering on a local farm.

Through determination, she is now studying BSc (Hons) Agriculture at Harper Adams University and has been awarded the ForFarmers scholarship, which includes a placement year with the organisation.

Sian, 22, from Tattershall, Linconshire, said: “I come from a non-farming background, and was being steered towards pursuing a career in human resources.

“I started working for a fresh food supplier, as an apprentice in the HR department. While there, I gained an insight into agriculture which sparked an interest.

“At this time, I was also fortunate to be given the opportunity to help out on a local sheep farm. This allowed me to gain valuable experience into how sheep are farmed and cared for, including the lambing season and the general upkeep of the sheep.

“The work experience on the farm gave me an insight into the commercial side of the food chain and how farmers rely on having successful lambing seasons to get the best cost effective practice.

“An urge was sparked to seek a change of career direction from HR and into the agriculture sector.

“I successfully completed my apprenticeship but, despite being offered a follow on contract, I decided to leave and study for the BSc (Hons) Agriculture at Harper Adams, through foundation.

“The course is helping me expand my existing knowledge as well as giving me a better understanding of the topics that, prior to taking the course, I had little or no exposure to.

“Harper Adams University was my first choice for my place of study due to its reputation within the agricultural industry and its more hands on learning approach which gives me both practical and academic development.”

Speaking about the scholarship, Sian added: “ForFarmers is the market leader in Europe and the reputation it has in the agricultural industry is very appealing and encouraged me more to apply to scholarship placement.

“The pig industry in the UK is constantly growing and remaining resilient in the challenges they face. With ForFarmers’ commitment to its customers they are able to produce healthier livestock and better returns.

“My scholarship will make a fantastic foundation for my development in the sector and give me invaluable experience.”

After graduating, Sian hopes to become an animal nutritionist.

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