Posted 3 November 2014
A monthly special featuring a current student from Harper Adams University.
Final year Harper Adams student, Catherine Bennett, hopes the experience she has gained by travelling the world and embracing city life will help her to give something back to the place where she grew up.
The 22-year-old from Meifod, Powys, is a fluent Welsh speaker and is passionate about Wales and the farming community at home.
She has recently returned from her placement year working for McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd Headquarters in London, where she worked for the agriculture team within the supply chain department.
Catherine, who studies BSc (Hons) Agri-food Marketing with Business Studies, said: “As well as working for McDonald’s, I also tried to make the most of what London had to offer me, including joining The Farmers Club and being part of the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Food Drink, and Agriculture Market Interest Group.
“These are opportunities that wouldn’t have been so readily available to me, had I not been in the capital, so it was important that I took part in networking.”
Last month she travelled to France to attend the International Summit of Young Farmers – a global meeting with representatives from 50 countries. Catherine was one of just two to represent the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC).
She also represented the NFYFC at the European Council of Young Farmers Spring Parliament in Helsinki, where she discussed issues that policy holders need to address to support the future of young farming.
Catherine, whose family farms a mixed poultry, dairy and sheep system, added: “I hope that all of the new skills that I am picking up during my time away at university will be beneficial to both me and my community when I return home.
“I’d like to take my experience of working at an international organisation such as McDonald’s, and apply that to any opportunities that come my way in the future.
“Ideally, I would love a similar role to that of my placement, but for another agriculture-related organisation a little closer to home.”
Since enrolling at Harper Adams around three years ago, Catherine has been impressed by the relevance of her course and its ability to adapt to its environment.
She said: “My course is regularly reviewed to ensure that the modules and content are relevant to the industry and will be beneficial to us once we graduate.
“I’ve made friends for life here from all over the UK, it’s a really welcoming university.”
Catherine plans to travel to Australia and New Zealand once she has graduated in September.
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