26 March 2019
Ross Webster, 22 from Bickerstaffe Lancashire, is a final year BSc Agri-Business student and a recipient of the Lord Leverhulme’s Charitable Trust Scholarship.
“Firstly I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Lord Leverhulme’s Charitable Trust for providing the scholarship opportunity and to the Harper Adams development trust panel for their decision.
“I decided to apply for the scholarship when I returned for my final year of study at Harper Adams University. During my second year, I had seen the scholarship advertised and although falling into the criteria, I did not apply. During my third year, while away on placement, I reflected upon my decision and strongly regretted not applying. I remembered a saying that my grandfather lived by “Opportunities knocks once, sometimes twice, but never three times” and it stuck with me.
“When I returned for my final year I had a clearer concept of how receiving a scholarship would increase the value of my time spent at university, I promised myself that I would make sure I would make the most of the opportunities that appeared in front of me.
The scholarship will enable Ross to progress in his career, “Being in receipt of the Lord Leverhulme’s Charitable Trust Scholarship will make a significant impact on my immediate and long term future. The financial backing of the scholarship will enable me to complete the necessary health and safety qualifications required to enter my chosen field, I will use the remainder to invest into the development of my game meat business idea once I leave education. A financial injection such as this will give me the ability to reduce the amount of funds I will have to source, turning the concept of establishing my own business a reality earlier than I had previously anticipated. Equally, by gaining this head start, the potential of making the business a success has improved”
Ross talked about his journey in farming, “From an early age I was interested in farming, however growing up on a diversified farm opened my mind to the potential that wider business environments might hold for me. It was at this point I was ready to move onto higher education and I decided to study BSc Agri-Business. The varied nature of the course suited both my interests and if were it not for this course being available I doubt I would have found anything as tailored to myself and might not have attended university at all.
“When I am not at university I work part time as a gun salesman at Bamfords in Lancashire. I spent my third year placement there and gained a wide variety of small business experience that I can apply to my own venture. During my free time I enjoy country pursuits such as shooting at home, and fishing in Scotland and Cumbria. When lucky enough to have long periods of free time, I use it to travel. Doing so has provided me with experiences that I will never forget and it is something that I wish to prioritise throughout my life.
Ross shared his aspirations for his business, “I am using my time here researching consumer perceptions of game meat and identifying ways to improve this as the subject of my honours research project. The business that I plan in the same field will focus on developing game as a modern food commodity. Overtime I hope to be able to contribute to the improvement of rural economies and to secure the future of the wider shooting industry. A core value of the business will be that it gives something back to the community. One way in which this will be achieved is through the pledge of donating 10% of profits towards continually supporting homeless and low income families and individuals by providing them with a healthy food source in the form of game meat.”