Studying at Harper gives students plenty of opportunities to explore the wider sector in which they are studying. From a placement year working out in industry, to supporting and encouraging involvement in sector competitions, the experiences are out there for those that seek them.
Toby Smith has risen to this challenge, being selected as a finalist in the Farmer’s Weekly Farmers Apprentice 2020 competition. The FdSc Agriculture final year student is proving his knowledge and skills to the world, hoping to encourage others to do the same, no matter your background. He said: “I have always been interested in agriculture from a young age. I have always been keen to learn as much I can. Not coming from a farming background has also inspired my studies as I need to prove myself in the sector.”
Toby had been aware of the competition for a few years before deciding to try out for himself. He said: “I came across Farmers Apprentice a couple of years ago and remember watching the 2018 series. I saw the advertisement for it this year and thought it was worth applying as there is nothing to lose.
“I managed to get through as a finalist, which I was over the moon about. Travelling to Scotland, I went to the boot camp in late August. The week involved a range of tasks which will be shown in the 2020 series.
“I unfortunately didn’t win however it was a fantastic experience and I would recommend it to anyone. The experience will definitely help me in the future.”
From his experience, Toby is more enthusiastic about his studies, having been given a different kind of opportunity to put new skills into practise. He offered his advice to others interested in agricultural studies, saying: “For any one wanting to get into studying agriculture it’s important you get experience in the industry. It will help you massively as it did me. You get out what you put in and everyday is a school day. It’s well worth getting out there as you have nothing to lose.”
With his passion evident, Toby has learnt a great deal from his time at Harper. He shared why he knew Harper was the place for him: “Harper Adams has always stood out to me as a university. The facilities are outstanding along with the teaching. The reputation and awards of the university also stand out; in my view it is definitely the place to study Agriculture.
“I enjoy being at Harper - my favourite thing is the lifestyle. There is a good mix of learning and socialising. I’m looking forward to getting back this Autumn to catch up with everyone after my placement year and to house share with friends from my first year.”
If you are interested in the opportunities a degree that matters can offer to you, you can explore our courses here. To learn more, explore campus, and ask staff and students alike your questions, join us at our Virtual Open Day, October 10. Register below!