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    How Harper Adams uses shows and events to find the next generation of food and farming specialists

    30 October 2023

    As the UK’s leading University serving the agri-food, animal wellbeing and connected industries, Harper Adams works is recognised as a world-leading specialist institution in its field.

    The University connects with industry leaders, sector experts, and key researchers across the globe to share knowledge and affect change on real world issues. These partnerships help the University drive forward important innovation in food and farming. 

    However, as Head of Student Recruitment Carl Mansell-Griffiths explains, the University’s mission is not just about driving forward the future of food and farming, but also about finding the next generation of food and farming experts and specialists – and this work is reflected in the University’s presence at shows and events up and down the country.  

    He said: “We’re changing the world – and to do that, we need curious minds to help us find solutions to the economic and environmental challenges facing our planet, both now and in the future. 

    “We want to equip the next generation of experts in agriculture, engineering, business, food science, animal care, zoology, veterinary science, land management and more, to be able to contribute to the industries of today and of the future, to develop and maintain sustainable living environments for our planet’s inhabitants. 

    “That’s why it’s important for us to have a presence at a whole host of shows – from the dedicated agricultural events such as the Royal Welsh Show, Cereals, UK Dairy Day, through to events where we can meet those prospective students who may never have even considered a career linked to food, farming or animal health – and that’s where events such as New Scientist Live are so valuable.

    “These kinds of events are hugely important for helping students today to understand how integral food and farming is to science, technology and innovation and that these are key industries and careers for the future.

    “So it’s always a fantastic opportunity to come to these events, meet young people and help open their eyes to the potential careers ahead of them.” 


    At this year’s event, a range of experiences demonstrating the wealth of teaching and research at Harper Adams University, the School of Sustainable Food and Farming, and the Harper & Keele Vet School were on hand for visitors. 

    These included an immersive virtual reality exploration of the future of farming, larvae dipping, and a practical demonstration of how 3D printed skulls are used at the Harper & Keele Vet School for teaching – with a skull being printed throughout the event. 

    Meanwhile Harper Adams Senior Engagement Fellow Kit Franklin was among guest speakers, talking about the role robots will play the future of food production to a packed crowd. 

    Carl added: “Taking our message to New Scientist Live – particularly with its schools’ day – helps ups capture the curious minds of the next generation. 

    “Working together with partners such as Farmers Weekly, we can maximise our impact and make the difference together. 

    “We talk about the careers our students go on to enjoy – there is a reason that 99.2 per cent of our undergraduates have been found to be in work or further study once they complete their degrees with us. 

    “We talk about our research, the real-world impact it has – and about how ideas that began at Harper Adams – such as our Hands-Free Farm – are being implemented around the globe. 

    “And most of all, we talk to those young people who will form the next generation of food and farming experts about how studying with us can help make the difference.” 

    (This piece originally ran in Farmers Weekly)



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