Student experiences

Matthew Wright on placement

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5 March 2014

Matthew Wright is in the final year of a BSc (Hons) Agriculture degree and turning his attention towards future careers. “Having worked on-farm and gained a lot of experience, I’m now keen to head into the supporting sectors of farming, in particular either ruminant nutrition or breeding.

“The careers in the rural sector are vast; people will always have to eat and they need agriculture to provide that food.  Along with all the jobs on-farm, producing the food, the roles in the support of agriculture probably double those on-farm so there are thousands of roles available to prospective students. 

“My course has taught me about the things that make a farm business tick and what is needed in order to set a business apart from the average producer/achiever. I’ve also developed skills that will allow me to work not just on-farm but also in the sectors supporting the agriculture industry.”

The 23-year-old, from Bristol, adds: “The placement year at Harper Adams also provides a great basis to a graduate; employers like the fact that the individual has already spent a year in a real life working environment.” Matt spent his own work placement at Barley Park Farms in Oxfordshire. “I assisted in the running of the beef unit on a 4000-acre mixed farm. This involved all the feeding and cattle tasks but I also helped on the arable and sheep enterprises in the busier periods.

“Placement was great for meeting new people and seeing three different farming systems in a large scale farming operation. My employers were great and really wanted to give me an opportunity working in various enterprises on the farm.”

However, before graduating Matt has important work to do, not just his dissertation (a DairyCo sponsored project) and final exams but organising the highlight of the university’s social calendar – the summer ball. “This year I am Summer Ball Committee Chairman; this is a role that involves me heading up the team that organises and plans both the Christmas and infamous Summer Ball. It’s great fun, if not a little demanding at times but when everyone pulls together and mucks in we have a brilliant time and it should also look pretty good on my CV!

“The social life here is brilliant, from Fresher’s Week to Wednesday nights in the SU bar. The annual Agric block fixture is also a biggy on the social calendar and always makes for a great weekend.

“My favourite memories of university are the term times; times where I met some great people that will be friends for life. Harper Adams is the leading land-based university for study where a great social life comes in a very close second!”

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