Final year students studying agriculture are feeling confident about their futures after securing jobs before sitting their final exams.
This year’s students have followed in the footsteps of previous cohorts, building on the success of their placement years and studies to begin promising careers in food, farming and the ancillary industries. The current employment rate* for Agriculture degree graduates is 97.44%, a figure that has been rising steadily over the last four years.
The students will be working in many different areas, from agronomy to ruminant nutrition and meat processing.
Joe Hodgson, from Lincoln, has a bright future ahead as an agronomist, having been awarded a place on the highly regarded Hutchinsons/Farmacy three-year foundation programme. The 22-year-old, who studied BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Crop Management, will undertake trial visits, conferences, field walking days with senior agronomists, BASIS and FACTS training. He follows in the footsteps of previous Harper students who began their agronomy careers through this graduate programme.
Fellow crops students, Hannah Catling and Elle Jennings-Edwards, are also beginning careers in agronomy. Hannah, 22, is heading home to Norfolk to begin three years of training with Agrovista, while Ellie, 22, from Derbyshire, will be employed by Eurofins. Like Joe, both women will be returning to Harper in the future to study for BASIS and FACTS qualifications.
BSc (Hons) Agriculture student, Emma Tristram, will be based in Cornwall as a ruminant nutritionist. The 23-year-old, from Devon, has secured a place with SC Nutrition Ltd, where she will be involved with farm visits, on farm testing, advising on dairy cow and young stock rations and the general herd. She will also be undertaking training in America.
Hayley Neale, BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Animal Science, has earned a place on the Faccenda Foods graduate scheme. Faccenda, which was established by Harper alumnus Robin Faccenda in 1962, now employs more than 3,500 people. Hayley, 22, from Shropshire, will join a number of former Harper students at the Midlands-based firm. The company also offers a popular placement scheme for students.
Fellow Agriculture with Animal Science student, Amy Barnes, from Hampshire will be heading further north to begin her career as a shepherdess and stock person on the North Yorkshire Mount St John estate. The 27-year-old, who will be responsible for the sheep flock and help to manage the farm’s suckler herd, thanked course manager Dr Russell Readman for his support throughout the course: “Thank you to Russell for his advice on my career choices - it really helped me follow the practical farming route and I couldn't be happier!”
21-year-old Maddi O’Mahony, from Essex, will be joining ABP, one of Europe’s leading food processors, on the company’s two-year graduate scheme. Having studied Agriculture with Animal Science, Maddi will spend her first year in a primary processing unit before progressing to a secondary processing plant. She hopes to become a technical manager upon finishing the scheme.
Will Hitchcock, 22, will be using the engineering expertise gained from his degree in Agriculture with Mechanisation and placement year to implement diversification schemes on his family farm in Suffolk. A varied role, he’ll also be working on agricultural contracting, arable operations, and crop protection.
*Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey, 2018
Students featured in photograph: L-R: Ellie Jennings-Edwards, Maddi O’Mahony, Joe Hodgson, Oliver French, Course Manager Russell Readman, Hayley Neale, Amy Barnes, Emma Tristram, Amy Stinton, Hannah Catling.