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Clyde Higgs MSc scholars: Matthew Newson and Omer Collins

Posted 18 February 2016

Matthew and Omer with Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust Trustee Margaret Herbert

Two Masters students at Harper Adams University are benefitting from the generosity of the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust, thanks to Clyde Higgs postgraduate scholarships. 

Matthew Newson, 22, from Otley, Suffolk, received a scholarship worth £5,000. Matthew graduated last summer with a degree in countryside and environmental management from Harper Adams and has remained at the university to work towards an MSc Crop Production.

He said: “After achieving a First Class degree in my Undergraduate studies alongside securing a role as a trainee agronomist, I decided to continue my academic career at Harper Adams.  This represented an opportunity to develop my knowledge and specialise in crop production.

“Due to the significant financial cost of undertaking a Masters I decided to apply for the Clyde Higgs Scholarship. The award would provide financial security and an asset for future job applications. 

“I am greatly honoured to be awarded the Scholarship, which will help me to undertake conferences, courses, training and industry qualifications to develop my knowledge and expertise in agronomy. 

“I am really enjoying my course at Harper Adams University, and with the support of the Elizabeth Creek Charitable Trust, this opportunity will help fulfil my ambition to make a positive difference in the agricultural industry.

“My long-term ambition is to become an experienced and respected agronomist. As an agronomist, it will be my objective to balance problems such as the tension between producing food and protecting the wider ecosystem. 

“At the forefront of a rapidly-changing agricultural industry, I hope to tackle problems such as chemical resistance and also promote the benefits of more sustainable farming techniques. With hard work, passion and determination, I hope to be an excellent ambassador for both Harper Adams University and the Elizabeth Creek Charitable Trust. 

“Ultimately I would like to be in a position to support future students to make their own mark on the landscape.”

Omer Collins, 28, from Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, also received £5,000 to assist his as he studies for an MSc in Sustainable Agriculture.

He said: “I am incredibly excited to be a recipient from such a prestigious charitable trust, and feel very grateful towards them.

“I applied for the scholarship to open up opportunities in my studies - to invest in very useful books that would otherwise be unaffordable for me, and to invest in accredited short courses for relevant skills

“I am taking City & Guilds accredited land-based skills short courses in addition to the university degree, including tractor driving, chainsaw maintenance and crosscutting, and chainsaw felling.

“I would like to pursue a career in sustainable agriculture, with particular interest in developing a profession in either consultancy, research, education or training within this discipline.”

Omer is originally from Tel Aviv, Israel, but has lived in Oxfordshire since he was six years old.

The Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust, which was established in memory of Elizabeth Creak, a former High Sheriff of Warwickshire who previously ran one of the county’s largest dairy farms, is sponsoring a series of student scholarships at Harper Adams. The Clyde Higgs Scholarships are named after Miss Creak’s uncle from whom she inherited the farming enterprise in 1963, and who inspired her to become a highly capable and well-respected farmer, who brought many creative ideas to the industry.  


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