Harper Adams Masters student, Caryl Lewis, has been awarded the ‘Centenary Award’ bursary from The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust. As one of four students selected by NFU Mutual, Caryl has been identified as a figurehead for shaping the future of the agricultural industry.
Currently studying Agroecology, Caryl is researching methods that can be applied to influence consumer choices when it comes to supporting Welsh produce in the supermarkets on a local scale.
Caryl is studying red meat, analysing the methods already used and how they can be improved in the future to engage and educate the public, while also improving the circular economy of rural areas. Her background in Human Geography, as well as working for Renewable Energy Systems and the Rural Affairs and Sustainability Department for the Welsh Government, has made sustainability a major focus of her work and has enabled Caryl to apply this knowledge to concepts of biodiversity, ecosystem services, and food security.
From a farming background, Caryl hopes to educate farmers, policy makers and the general public on the role they can play in sustainability and raising awareness of food production and consumption. Harper Adams University has been beneficial for her research because of the specialised resources on offer and Caryl loves that “there is a wealth of knowledge and facilities to take advantage of, which I will hopefully fulfill throughout my studies.”
Caryl has also hailed the university’s flexible approach to education saying: “There is a great team of lecturers, staff and students here who are all ensuring my experience at Harper is successful. I have been able to make adjustments to my course to ensure I am focusing specifically on my area of interests, which I am very grateful to the staff for helping me to do
Caryl continued: “I live just over an hour away from the University, so the bursary has secured that I am able to travel and accommodate myself when studying and make the most of the resources available.”
The Trust awards annual bursaries to those they feel will have an impact in their field, paying up to 75% of their course fees to help them achieve their research aims.
For anyone thinking about undertaking a postgraduate degree course at Harper Adams, Caryl suggests pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
She said: “There are lots of opportunities out there, and most of them you have to go out and find – they will not be handed on a plate. But going for these opportunities is what will help them build skills, knowledge and personal development which is essential when out in the real world.”