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Featured student of the month - Emily Wilson

Posted 5 October 2012

“It will be challenging, however it will drive the business to be more efficient and avoid unnecessary costs, and initiate forward buying whilst focusing on technical performance and capabilities.

Emily Wilson at the Harper Adams dairy unit

A monthly special featuring a current student from Harper Adams.

Agriculture student, Emily Wilson, hopes that her dreams will come true now that she has successfully taken on a dairy farm tenancy in Staffordshire.

The 23-year-old applied for a variety of county council farm tenancies with her partner, Giles, despite knowing how few and far between they can be.

They found success on their third attempt, gaining a 10-year farm business tenancy on a starter farm, with the opportunity to move to a progression farm in the future.

Emily, who is originally from Ashington, West Sussex, said: “We’ve always wanted to take on a dairy tenancy to fulfil our life-long dream. We initially planned to move to New Zealand once I’d graduated as we thought the opportunity to do so wouldn’t arise in the UK.

“But we’ve been successful here and our goal is to pursue a profitable business that will eventually support both of us if needed.”

Emily plans to combine the tenancy with studying for the final year of her BSc (Hons) Agriculture degree at the University College in Shropshire. Her partner, Giles, also studied at Harper Adams, graduating in 2005 from the same course.

She added: “Entering into my final year will be very taxing combined with the first financial year of the new business.

“Milk prices have been a big concern, along with the rising variable costs and weather conditions, and how that will influence the productivity of the business.

“It will be challenging, however it will drive the business to be more efficient and avoid unnecessary costs, and initiate forward buying whilst focusing on technical performance and capabilities.

As part of her degree studies, Emily has chosen to research carrots for her dissertation, with a project entitled ‘Non-chemical treatments of carrots pre-storage’.

She said: “The beauty of choosing an agriculture degree is that whilst reading about animals, I can explore crops too. I selected the Fresh Produce module in the second year because I didn’t know much about that area of the industry. I found it interesting so it influenced my dissertation topic.

“I chose Harper Adams over other universities because when I arrived for the interview it sold itself within the first 30 minutes! It has a positive, exciting attitude towards the agricultural industry alongside an invigorating student community.

“When I graduate my ambition is to enter the fresh produce industry in a technical production role. I’ll be doing this as well as helping with our new dairy tenancy.”

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