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    Scholarships for N.Irish agriculture students

    Posted 30 April 2013

    Catherine Gawn

    Two Harper Adams agriculture students have won scholarships in recognition of their outstanding academic achievement.

    Catherine Gawn from Ballymena, Co. Antrim and Lauren Johnston from Markethill, Co. Armagh, both study BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Animal Science.

    Catherine has been awarded the Devenish Nutrition Scholarship, worth £2,500 and was previously awarded The Harper Adams in Ireland/Development Trust Scholarship Exclusive to Northern Ireland & The Republic of Ireland earlier this year.

    The 19-year-old, whose family runs a beef, sheep and free range poultry farm, said: “I’m pleased and really happy to have won the scholarship. It will assist with general living costs whist and university and help towards extra training such as my trailer test.”

    When she isn’t helping on the family farm with her brother and sister or studying at university, she enjoys being an active member of the Harper Ireland student club. Her older brother recently completed an agriculture degree at Queen’s University, Belfast.

    Catherine, a former Antrim Grammar School student, said: “I wanted to study somewhere different so chose to come to England. It’s a good course at Harper Adams and I wanted to specialise in animal science whilst studying agriculture. Harper is the best place for this kind of degree.”

    She hopes to eventually become a nutritionist within the agricultural sector.

    Lauren has been awarded the Alltech Scholarship, worth £1,200 and was previously awarded the Development Trust Entrance Scholarship for Students from Northern Ireland & the Republic of Ireland; and The Harper Adams in Ireland/Development Trust Scholarship Exclusive to Northern Ireland & The Republic of Ireland. It was only last week that she was recognised for generating the most donations for the university through helping with a fundraising telethon, of which Catherine was also involved.

    Lauren, whose family runs a 300-head Texel cross sheep farm, said: “I’m really grateful and surprised to receive this scholarship. I’m now able to consider remaining in England for the summer to gain experience by working on the harvest.”

    The 19-year-old also enjoys playing ladies football and hockey and is keen to broaden her horizons by working on arable farming systems. The former Banbridge Academy and Markethill High School student, said: “I chose to study at Harper Adams because it was the only place that did my course at the level I wanted.

    “It has an attractive campus with a working farm - it’s home from home.”

    Lauren’s family are no strangers to agriculture, her uncle is Iain Johnston, who works for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in the CAFRE Arable Crops Team. She also has two younger sisters, one of which hopes to run the family farm.

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