Suzanna Layton-Busch, 23, from Sutton Maddock near Bridgnorth, is studying MProf Rural Estate and Land Management and is one of three recipients of the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust Centenary Award 2019.
The award is offered to postgraduate students in agriculture and provides annual bursaries to cover up to 75% of the course fees for selected masters or PhD students. The award was launched in 2010 to celebrate 100 years of NFU Mutual and so far 36 students have benefitted from it.
"Having grown up in the sizeable town of Stourbridge, my interest in agriculture was sparked during weekends and holidays spent on my grandparent’s mixed farm. Since then I have potato graded, shepherded, lambed, grain sampled, milked and ‘agriculture degreed’ my way into the industry.
"The Centenary Award bursary, from the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, has supported my postgraduate studies in REALM (MProf). It was an honour to receive the award, along with two other national applicants.
"I was initially attracted to the REALM courses at Harper Adams after attending an open day shortly after completing my A-Levels. This initiated my first interest in the work of rural chartered surveyors, and consequently I shadowed practising professionals at my local livestock market, Nock Deighton Agricultural LLP. This guided me into the decision to apply to study Agriculture at university level.
"During my three years at Aberystwyth University, I gained a solid foundation of various sectors of the agricultural industry. Following completion of my undergraduate degree in 2018, it is great to be finally experiencing what Harper Adams has to offer me.
"Now over halfway through the masters course, I am being equipped with the skills and knowledge to begin my career as a graduate rural surveyor in September. I have greatly enjoyed the challenge of the new topics introduced to me this year as well as building on my agricultural knowledge, which I believe is fundamental to the future success of my career working with farmers and other industry professionals. My plan is to stay grounded in agriculture, assisting farmers to the best of my ability with new innovative ideas and current industry challenges.
"Learning the masters course content full-time over one year was made possible to me through the NFU’s bursary. I would highly recommend those who are considering postgraduate study to apply for this excellent award."