When deciding where to study her degree Harper Adams Students’ Union President Emily Brown was torn between Harper Adams and another university, but if she had to make that choice again now “there would be no competition, it would be Harper in a heartbeat”.
“It was the course and the compulsory placement year that convinced me to choose Harper Adams,” says the Agriculture with Farm Business Management graduate.
“At the other university a placement year was not compulsory, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do, but I was worried about coming back to my final-year and not knowing anyone if friends hadn’t chosen to do a placement year.
“At Harper it was mandatory, so I could do something which increases my employability, and I could come back to my final year and not be faced with the prospect of being without people I know.”
Emily chose to study Agriculture with Farm Business Management because the course would allow her to pursue two of her favourite subjects.
“I love farming and I have always been interested in the business side of the sector, and the course at Harper Adams covers every aspect of twenty first century farming: The physical, operational, scientific and the economical.”
Emily, from Bedford, adds : “The diversity of the lecturers’ backgrounds at Harper is amazing too, you can go from Animal Reproduction Science in the morning to a marketing lecture in the afternoon.
“No matter what the lecturers teach, they are always happy to share their skill sets with you and lend their expertise to whatever we want to achieve in our university work or our own business enterprises.”
Though she loved the whole course, the Diversification module was Emily’s favourite, as it opened her eyes to an innovative approach to farming.
“On one hand having a regenerative farm and on the other running different enterprises that can support or be supported by the farm – it’s a win-win situation.
“In fact, I fell so in love with the idea, that I looked into farms diversifying into farm gyms for my dissertation, combining the benefits of functional fitness (similar to activities carried out on the farm), whilst also using the venture as an additional revenue stream to help stabilise farming incomes.”
“It’s really cool being the Student Union President…I’ve love Harper, and part of the reason I wanted to be the Students’ Union President was to represent the students and to give something back to the university.”
Emily’s presidency will finish in June, and after working hard for five years she plans to work another harvest and potentially travel a little before moving on to a graduate job.
But if she could pass on some advice from her time at Harper it would be this:
“I would most definitely encourage students to get stuck in with as many different activities as possible, including giving new activities a go.
“You want to be inviting and even though it might seem scary at first, don't shut yourself away; everyone else is in the same boat being away from home and in a new environment.”