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Harper Adams students and alumni to volunteer in Jamaica

Posted 25 May 2016

Considering that almost half of the successful applicants for the trip are Harper Adams past or present students, it surely is a reflection of the ability and potential of Harper students to be successful outside of education and employment.”

A group of five Harper Adams University students and alumni have been selected to volunteer in Jamaica on a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

The trip, which has been organised by Projects Abroad, will see eleven UK young farmers travel to Jamaica in August to join a community farming project for two weeks. 

Harper Adams students Sarah Kidd, Frances Griffiths and Alice Clews, alongside alumni Will Howie and Harriet Wilson, will be involved in community-focussed farming and agricultural management in Jamica's Manchester Parish.

BSc Rural Enterprise and Land Management (REALM) student Sarah, 21, said: “Farmers make up 20 per cent of Jamaica’s workforce. This represents almost 160,000 families who are dependent on farming. Increasing costs of fertilisers and agrochemicals, and a lack of support is impacting the livelihood of many rural farmers.

“We will work with the Christiana Potato Growers Cooperative Association (CPGCA) to support and promote ‘protected agriculture’ as a way forward. Protected agriculture involves farming in greenhouses to limit the effects of poor weather and insects. 

“We will be able to assist in numerous areas depending on our interests, and will live together with local host families in Mandeville.

“But first we have to raise nearly £1,600 each to cover the costs of our insurance, food and accommodation. We also have to pay for travel, vaccinations and spending money.

“The National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs (NFYFC) has more than 25,000 members who would have been eligible for the trip. Only eleven places were available, so it’s impressive that five Harper Adams-educated young farmers were successful in the selection process.

“We would love to be able to leave some sort of Young Farmers of Harper Adams legacy whilst we are out there and have started thinking through some ideas. Suggestions from the University, staff, students or graduates would be welcome; as would any financial support anyone can give. If you do wish to donate, please visit our group crowdfunding page.” 

Alice Clews, 21, BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Crop Management said: “With my placement year not starting until September, I wanted to do something agriculture-related and fun during the summer. 

“The NFYFC Jamaica trip provides the opportunity to volunteer with a course-related area of interest whilst also being able to travel to a different country.” 

Frances Griffiths, 23, final year REALM student, said: “We are all really looking forward to our Jamaican adventure, but first we are faced with the challenge of raising enough money to cover all of the costs. I hope to be able to raise fund through running raffles and selling refreshment at YFC events.

“Considering that almost half of the successful applicants for the trip are Harper Adams past or present students, it surely is a reflection of the ability and potential of Harper students to be successful outside of education and employment.” 

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