Kerri Coffey’s determination and hard work has paid off with assignment scores up to 90% and having been awarded two ground-breaking placements within the Pig Industry.
“In my first assignment, I got a low mark and was distraught, but I sought help from my lecturers and academic support and have been flying ever since”, says BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Animal Science student Kerri, who adds that, “I put everything into my degree because I started my studies at 21, I think it means more to me to do well as I had to complete a Level 2 and Level 3 Extended Diploma before coming to Harper. A consequence of being too interested in milking and calving cows than studying for my GCSE's."
“However, my educational scenic route has provided me with fantastic opportunities to gain experience working on dairy herds up to 1500, learning how to make cheese and ice-cream through farm diversification, looking after a herd in France to being a quality assurance auditor in a poultry factory. Not forgetting my travels have taken me across Europe, the Americas, and Australia… but I can’t quite put my finger on whether Guatemala or Panama was my favourite!”
The avid traveller has achieved exam and assignment results above 90% and multiple scholarship awards such as a Pig industry scholarship where she will be spending half her placement year with Bedfordia and the other with AHDB, which will put Kerri at the forefront of Pig Industry research.
“I’m only in my second week at Bedfordia, but I am already organising and carrying out trials on pig health, welfare and nutrition: I’m building up protocols, doing the necessary research, and writing up literature reviews.
At the moment we are trying to find a replacement for Zinc as it is coming out of pig diets in June 2022 and we need to find a good replacement that will be cost-effective and aid pig welfare.”
Whereas at AHDB Kerri “will be conducting a project into freedom farrowing where she will be visiting different pig farmers around the country and see how they have adapted their farm to facilitate freedom farrowing to then be able to compare it to the conventional farrowing crate system, currently in use across the UK pig industry. It will also give me the opportunity to collaborate with the National Pig Association and Red Tractor Assurance.”
Outside of her studies, Kerri is an incredibly active member of the universities’ student body. “This year I set up the British Society of Animal Science Harper ambassador team. We worked alongside Deputy Vice-Chancellor Michael Lee to increase BSAS members within Harper undergrads to help them gain global contacts and receive support from leading industry professionals or renowned researchers.
We managed to get enough members signed up from the animal science-based degrees to enable Michael to get funding to give student members a free ticket to (a usually very expensive) BSAS conference to help them gain connections in industry and academia.”
Kerri, who started out her agricultural journey feeding her uncles’ calves and Jersey Bull- Henry, at the age of 8 for £7 a week has come a long way since then, not only in air miles but in experiences, skills, and career opportunities.