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Postgraduate student scoops special bursary award

Posted 13 October 2010

Postgraduate student Beth Cooper, studying an MSc in Sustainable Agriculture at Harper Adams University College has been selected to receive the Centenary Award from the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust.

A postgraduate from Harper Adams University College is just one of six agricultural students in the UK selected to receive a new award from the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust.

Beth Cooper, aged 26, will receive the ‘Centenary Award’ which was launched by the NFU Mutual to celebrate its 100th birthday this year.

The award will give the selected students an annual bursary to pay for 75per cent of their course fees and is open to students from the UK who have gained, or are expected to gain a 2:1 or above in agriculture, or a closely related degree.

Beth, from Writtle in Chelmsford, gained an Undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from the University of East Anglia and completed a dissertation based around agriculture.

She is now studying an MSc in Sustainable Agriculture at Harper Adams, part-time, which she is due to complete in 2011 and is also working as a catchment advisor for a water company.

To select the students, the award’s judging panel looked for applicants who were not only excellent academic performers, but who were also committed to the future of agriculture. The objective was to select potential rural leaders of the future, so that the bursary payments will not only help the individual students, but also benefit the agricultural industry at large.

Beth, who comes from a farming background said: “Obviously the money is a plus, but really it’s about support from the NFU Mutual because they are very well respected in the farming community. It’s really great.

“I’ve never wanted to be an actual farmer, but always wanted to contribute to the sector in some way. By being a farm advisor and looking at sustainable agriculture, I can achieve that.”

Beth said the course at Harper Adams had been “really good” and highly beneficial because of its practical nature.

She added: “Some courses out there are more theoretical, but here I have gained hands on experience that I can apply in my job. I hope that it has put me in good stead for the future.”

Postgraduate Programmes Manager at Harper Adams, Emma Tappin, said: “We are delighted the NFU Mutual is supporting the development of future leaders in the agriculture industry. Achieving sustainability in agricultural production is recognised to be of global importance, students such as Beth have a key role to play in this process."

The Centenary Award is a long-term scheme, and bursaries will be available again in 2011 and applications for the award will be invited from January 2011. More information about the scheme can be found on our Postgraduate Scholarships pages.

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