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    Innovation in agriculture: Meet Claire Thompson

    10 February 2020

    Claire Thompson, a second year BSc Agriculture student, is interested in innovation in the field, particularly when it comes to the future of farming and the Agriculture Bill. Understanding that there will be changes in the industry, Claire is taking on the challenges involved in becoming more sustainable.

    Claire spoke about her views of the new policy, saying: “I think the Agriculture Bill will be a challenge to farming seeing farmers having to change their practices to mitigate further damage. In doing this, I’m hopeful that farming will become more conscious of our impact on the environment.” With a new focus being driven towards soil health, saving water and being ecologically more aware, Claire is looking to the future with her studies.

    With this in mind, Claire has secured a scholarship with UPL Limited, and will be working in field trials regarding chemical use in farming. Having previous experience on an organic dairy farm, Claire is looking to contrast the use of chemicals against her prior knowledge to understand both sides of the sustainability debate.

    “I’m fascinated by soil,” Claire explained, “and I particularly enjoy environmental science. Working to conserve what we have in terms of land, soils, crops, and animals is something I’m passionate to contribute towards whether that be through research or practical work. Working at UPL will be a great opportunity to learn about all aspects of chemical use, for their positives and negatives.”

    Claire’s passion for agricultural innovation is evident, although the path to this occupation was not always clear. Having studied A Levels, Claire only knew she wanted to work outdoors; when she was offered to attend the British Racing School, Claire took the opportunity to train as a jockey.

    However, she started to realise in working with horses that she was far more interested in the agricultural aspect of her role. Knowing this was the right move to make, Claire returned to college before attending Harper Adams with a wealth of experience quite different to other students.

    Claire said: “I don’t come from a farming background but this has given me a wide variety of experience that isn’t limited by what other students might have experienced on a farm at home - there are no preconceptions. I don’t feel like I’ve been held back in any way.

    “Now in being at Harper, I know that if I talk to an employer, they know the university and the reputation it has. Harper will continue to help me achieve more as a university backed by industry and at the forefront of innovation.”

    Should you be interested in studying agriculture with us at Harper Adams, please click here. To learn more about our widening participation initiative, click here. Want to experience our campus for yourself? You can attend our March Open Day by registering below.




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