Posted 1 December 2014
A monthly special featuring a current student from Harper Adams University.
Final year Harper Adams student, Christina Cowell, hopes to share her passion and excitement for the agricultural industry by securing a career in education.
The 22-year-old from Preston, Lancashire, has aspirations to work in a role that will enable her to teach the next generation about farming and food provenance, as well as the exciting job prospects available within the agri-food sector.
Dedicated to her dream, Christina’s dissertation project is based on evaluating the attitudes of key stage four students towards agriculture, and how they vary between urban and rural schools.
Christina, who studies BSc (Hons) Agriculture and is a student warden for the Harris on-campus hall of residence, said: “I want to find out what attitudes young people have towards a career in agriculture, and understand their level of knowledge about the subject.
“To do this, I will be surveying and comparing urban and rural schools in the midlands.
“I would like to think that students from rural schools will have a positive attitude towards agricultural careers, but, it could be the other way around. Hence my reason for choosing the subject for my dissertation project.”
Christina hopes that her research will prove effective preparation for when she applies for graduate jobs. Ideally, she would like to work in a role in schools liaison or outreach that will enable her to pass on her knowledge and passion.
As a student ambassador, Christina is a familiar face for those visiting the campus for open days and it is through this role that she has been involved with teaching science at a local school. She also assisted university staff during a ‘crops challenge’ activity for a primary school visit to the campus.
But beyond her involvement with the public, she also has strong, practical knowledge and experience of the agricultural industry – including working for a 1000-head dairy farm for her placement year.
Christina, a keen member of Chipping YFC, added: “My placement year was such a good experience, I was mainly responsible for heifer rearing, looking after around 120 calves at one time.
“At home I help on my step dad’s 500-cow dairy farm which operates a rotary parlour, milking three times a day.
“I’m also a member of professional development register, Dairy Pro, and have even had a profile written about me on the website. You could definitely say that I’m a dairy girl at heart!”
When it comes to her own education, Christina believes that the reputation of Harper Adams speaks for its self, being the only university that she applied for.
She said: “I know that the Harper Adams brand will be good for my future career prospects.
“The support network available to the students is great and all of the lecturers and staff are willing to help. Really, it’s one big network of specialist all in one place.”
In the future, Christina hopes to broaden her knowledge further, by travelling to America for a year to work on large-scale dairy farms. She believes this will prove invaluable for when she returns to pursue her career in the UK.
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