Chris Lane, fourth year BSc Agriculture student and recipient of the Jill Willows and Velcourt Arable Scholarships.
“The Jill Willows Scholarship asks students to write about challenges within the rural community and how young people can make a difference. I have an interest in the rural communities and found the founder of the scholarship inspirational”, says Chris, 22.
“The scholarship has renewed my confidence to be involved in local communities and to follow Jill Willows example; to be an active member of many different organisations of the industry and to help shape a brighter future for country people. I hope to use some of the scholarship money to go travelling to Australia next year to further my understanding of the industry. Harvesting there will broaden my horizons and give me a view of more extensive crop production.”
This is not the first time that Chris has received support from Velcourt – and indeed, there’s a deeper association to come. “I was awarded the Velcourt Arable Scholarship in my second year at Harper, and I then worked for the company on one of the flagship arable farms in Kent in my placement year. I had a successful year and they have awarded me the scholarship in my final year, plus a place on their management trainee scheme after graduation.”
Chris, from Lutton near Oundle, Northamptonshire, has much reason to look ahead with confidence. “I have always had an interest in farming, having grown up on a family farm. I am studying BSc Agriculture as this will give me a broad understanding that will be useful with an uncertain time ahead for the industry. I am looking forward to travelling next year before I start my career in British agriculture.”