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    How Harper Adams is valuing our farmers and food professionals - and developing fresh talent

    7 March 2023

    Shortages of fresh produce have been making the headlines in recent weeks – with Harper Adams experts being asked to explain why the issues are occurring. 

    However, these issues do not occur in isolation – as Harper Adams Vice-Chancellor Professor Ken Sloan explains in this blog, which sets out how important roles in the agri-food sector are – and how the University is developing vital fresh talent. 


    British farmers are not surprised to see the empty fresh produce shelves in our supermarkets and stores.

    They have been warning about it for more than nine months. They see the immediate effects of weather and climate conditions and understand the effects on future supply. 
    Farmers are highly skilled professionals.

    They are scientists - interpreting conditions, monitoring and supporting biodiversity, optimising timings, deploying complex technologies, and working with a whole raft of paraprofessionals to ensure our food supply system is abundant and secure. 
    If you do not think it is highly skilled and complex, I encourage you to contact us for a visit – and if you are considering a career in agri-food, or are in the industry and want to boost your skills, I encourage you to visit one of our Open Days, such as the one on March 11

    At this day, we will have staff on hand to talk to you about the range of courses on offer at Harper Adams – from undergraduate, to postgraduate, to apprenticeships and more. 
    We take our role in developing these sectors seriously. 

    If we want to encourage more people stay in and others to join these agrifood?roles, we must value them, financially and in status. 

    It starts with a fair share of the resources generated in the food supply chain, to better reflect where costs and efforts lie.  

    We need our farmers to be able to afford to invest in new technology for regenerative and sustainable agriculture – the kinds of technology we are working with industry to develop.  

    We need new and existing workers to access the latest skills and capabilities.  

    That is why we established the School of Sustainable Food and Farming, with Morrisons, McDonald’s UK and Ireland, and the National Farmers’ Union.  
    Shropshire and the wider West Midlands have extensive expertise and facilities at the heart of these complex questions, and we’re pleased to be playing our part in helping to answer them. 

    There is a lot to do - so come and visit us and see how you can help make the difference. 

    Harper Adams Vice-Chancellor Professor Ken Sloan Harper Adams Vice-Chancellor Professor Ken Sloan



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