Posted 3 December 2010
First year student, Pippa Maidment, has been awarded the annual Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) bursary for an essay that highlights the need to attract young people into agriculture.
The 19-year-old Rural Property Management student was presented with the £700 prize at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair earlier this week.
Pippa, from Undy in Monmouthshire, wrote her 1,000 word essay entitled ‘What should the Welsh farming industry and Government do to attract more young people into agriculture’ and was selected as the winner from 23 other applicants.
She said: “Harper sent me an application form for the bursary so I thought I would give it a go. I had a few days of planning and then I jotted down my thoughts and views.
“I feel really proud because I didn’t think I had a chance of winning. The money will certainly be beneficial to me, I feel really pleased.”
Second prize was awarded to fellow Harper Adams student, Sion Gwynedd Roberts, who is undertaking a BEng (Hons) degree in Agricultural Engineering.
Pippa, a member of Wentwood Young Farmers’ Club, is now hoping to move onto the Rural Enterprise and Land Management (REALM) Course at the University College.
She then hopes to become a rural chartered surveyor, a career path that has interested her for some time.
Below is an excerpt from Pippa’s winning essay –
“One major problem restricting the younger generation from being part of the farming industry, is that it currently has a very negative profile. If you ask most young people for their opinion on farming, the common response is that it provides a low income, long hours and is hard work.
“As a young person myself, if I was not a member of a Young Farmers’ Club, I would find it incredibly difficult to gain knowledge or experience on a farm. As the majority of farmers are members of the older generation, there is a lack of new ideas coming into agriculture.”
“But how do we address the problem? An obvious way would be to introduce agriculture into the classroom from an early age, starting at primary school level. Children need to learn the basic farm animals and where their food comes from.”