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University students complete fresh produce placements

Posted 2 September 2014

Watch the video on our YouTube channel.

Sam Ball

Four students from universities across the UK have spent the summer at Harper Adams learning about fresh produce research.

The students have been taking part in eight-week paid placements at the Fresh Produce Research Centre on campus, working alongside lecturers and research staff.

The placements are aimed at those studying plant science, environmental science, agriculture or horticulture, at an undergraduate level at any institution in the UK.

Taking part this year was Sam Ball from Bristol University, Liam Elliott from the University of Cambridge, Emma Micklewright from the University of Oxford and Jack Turner from Lancaster University.

Sam, who studies biology, investigated using a salt pre-conditioning treatment on kale. She said: “I decided to come to Harper Adams to do the placement as I’m really interested in the agricultural industry and there’s not a lot of exposure to the subject elsewhere.

“It’s been great fun. Because it’s so applied we’ve done things we haven’t done before, so it’s good to understand that side of research and science.”

Biology student Emma assisted with a project that hopes to reduce splitting in radishes. She said: “I’ve really enjoyed my experience and in terms of looking for jobs in the industry, this will be really useful as we’ve visited a lot of companies and businesses within the sector.

“It’s been good to have an insider’s look at the opportunities available for graduates.”

The students have been supervised by Dr Jim Monaghan, Principal Lecturer in Fresh Produce at Harper Adams. The scheme is sponsored by the Horticultural Development Company (HDC), the East Malling Trust (EMT) and the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA).

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