As recent recipient of the John Langford Award and latest member of the Young Butchers branch of The Worshipful Company of Butchers, Elizabeth Tree, 2nd year BSc Agriculture student, is continuing to be an advocate for a career in agriculture, even with a non-farming background.
Growing up in Croydon, Liz's interest in farming was peaked on her Welsh holiday at 13 where she found a farmer lambing and asked to get involved. Showing an aptitude for the task at hand, Liz has returned year on year to the farm, working up from the basic tasks of putting out feed, through to driving the tractors, and is now being given responsibility to run projects on the farm herself from start to finish.
Along with this, Liz also gained farming experience from the land where her horse was kept; offering to work in exchange for the keep of her horse, she developed a working relationship with the farmer and discovered he was a Harper graduate who directed her interest to the institution. This changed everything for Liz as she realised, "networking is the absolute key - having an open form of communications has opened the doors to so many experiences I wouldn't have otherwise had", largely in discovering a place to develop her interests into a budding career.
Now in her second year, Liz has already made amazing headway in extracurricular activities alongside her studies. With a weekend job on a 2,000 pig indoor rearing unit, membership with Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Scholars and a secured placement year with a British Poultry Council Scholarship at Avara Foods, it is no wonder she was recognised for the John Langford Award, given to those who identify their weaknesses and implement changes to excel through their Skills for the Agricultural Professional module.
Following this award, Liz continues her professional development as a member of the Young Butchers Society, a branch of Worshipful Company of Butchers in London. Alongside postgraduate student John Hunt, the pair attend networking events to discuss the importance of butchers and the meat industry with fellow associates.
Liz commented: "Joining has given me some amazing opportunities and I've met lots of great contacts. Coming from London into farming, especially as woman, has been difficult at times, but I've built some foundational relationships that have helped me achieve a great deal. By working as hard as you can and giving 110%, anything is possible if you want it badly enough."
Liz is looking to find some fellow students to join the Young Butchers Society and join in the discussion she has recently started. If you are interested in finding out more, you can see their website here.