Alice Penelope Grimes, 21, from Clun Valley, Shropshire is a second year Rural Enterprise and Land Management (BSc) student and recipient of The CLA Charitable Trust Scholarship and Lord Leverhulme's Charitable Trust.
“I live on a small, upland farm in Clun Valley, Shropshire and commute over an hour to attend university, a decision I made to enable me to manage my 70 head flock of commercial breeding ewes, especially during the lambing period. I recently began renting some parcels of land to enable me to increase my livestock numbers in the future.
“I am an active member of Clun Valley YFC, competing successfully in a range of competitions. This includes After-dinner speaking and Senior debating, a competition where we came second at the West Midlands Area round and I was awarded best chairman at county level. I have previously been club secretary and am the current vice-chairman and secretary of Clun Valley YFC 70th Anniversary committee, an event which is to be held this June.
“I selected to study at Harper Adams University and specifically REALM, due to the broad modules the course covers, which ranges from valuation studies to compensation and utilities and forestry and game management. I was also informed by previous students and the university itself that all the lectures have vast industry experience which can be greatly utilised by students.
“I am a 2nd year student at Harper Adams University studying Rural Enterprise and Land Management BSc (Hons) (REALM) with the aspiration to have a career in chartered rural surveying and auctioneering.
“I would firstly like to thank Mr Andrew Grant and Mrs Tahirih McLaren- Brown from the CLA Charitable Trust, Mr Simon Jones (a trustee of the Development Trust) and the trustees of the Lord Leverhulme Charitable Trust for awarding me with not one, but two scholarships. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to further my qualifications and to focus more time on studying.
“It is an honour to be recognised by such prestigious charitable trusts, and I hope to create and utilise contacts within both and maintain a relationship into the future. Within rural chartered surveying, it is important to create networks with other professionals and those within associated industries. Not only will my education benefit from these scholarships, but as will my future career.
“I applied for both The CLA Charitable Trust Scholarship and Lord Leverhulme's Charitable Trust to help financially support me through my studies at university. I currently work every weekend and over our holiday breaks from university to help fund my attendance at Harper Adams and to support my other financial commitments. The aid of a scholarship would also help fund two CPD courses I hope to complete and the AAT Level 2 Bookkeeping course I am currently studying alongside my degree.
“In addition to a career in rural chartered surveying, I aim to specialise and further my knowledge of hill farming and upland land management to specifically assist clients with this land type. With these scholarships I aim to complete two further courses regarding upland, wetland and woodland management provided by the RSPB and to attend a training day held by the Foundation for Common Land.
“Following my studies at Harper Adams University, I aim to increase my livestock numbers by renting my grandfather’s farm and to begin showing and breeding my small flock of Welsh Hill Speckled Face ewes which I keep alongside my commercial flock. As well as pursuing a career in chartered rural surveying, I also have a strong passion for the sheep industry and wish to see my grandfather’s farm continue as it has for many years.
“I aim to assist upland/ hill farmers with sustainable land management practice and create a larger cliental of this business type as they are fundamentally going to be the worst affected post Brexit. I have a strong passion for this type of farming business as they are what have shaped rural communities such as my own.
“Previously, I had never considered applying for a scholarship as I felt I had not achieved anything to do so. Therefore, I would strongly encourage any student to apply, as hard work does get recognised!”