Dearbhla Connell, second year BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Farm Business Management student, and recipient of The Duchy of Lancaster Scholarship, The Mercer Farming Competitive Scholarship and the Pig Industry Scholarship with ABN.
“Although I am not from a farming background, I have always had a passion for the countryside and rural enterprises, and have been lucky to work on a wide range of farms. I hope that my lack of farming background can be an advantage, as I can offer a relatively unbiased perspective on farm operations”, says Dearbhla, 20.
“The British Pig Industry is extremely successful in the absence of subsidies and I feel that learning more about how this industry operates will enable me to see how principles of efficiency and integration can be applied to other farming enterprises. I am very grateful to be receiving the award, as I think the combination of practical on-farm experience with Ermine Farms with office experience at ABN’s headquarters in Peterborough will give me valuable insight into both ends of the supply chain and the processes involved from the perspective of farmers and those in ancillary industries.”
Dearbhla, from Chalgrove in Oxfordshire, will be enjoying a broad range of experiences through her two scholarship awards. “I am thrilled that the Duchy of Lancaster have selected me as a scholar in the context of its ambition to protect the future of agricultural land holdings. I am very grateful for this and hope I can suitably represent them this year.
“The awards I have received will enable me to continue my development of professional skills by undertaking qualifications which will benefit both myself and future employers, such as a trailer license, and relieve financial pressure which will hopefully enable me to undertake more unpaid work experience if opportunities arise.”
While looking forward to a promising future, Dearbhla is thoroughly enjoying Harper life. “I hope to pursue a career in Agricultural Management or Consultancy, with a focus on livestock enterprises. I’m in no rush to leave Harper, however, as I greatly enjoy being a member of the Shooting Club and working on campus as a Student Ambassador.”