Posted 3 April 2018
"I’m absolutely delighted to have this opportunity, allowing me to expand my knowledge within the agricultural industry.”
Although not from a farming background, Catherine Daniells’s love of the outdoors led to her studying agriculture at college, and now at Harper Adams University, in order to build a career in the sector, which she hopes will ultimately lead to her running her own farm.
To help her reach her goal, the 19-year-old, FdSc Agriculture student has recently been awarded the JSR Farming Group Scholarship which includes a placement year with the company.
The student from Calne, Wiltshire, said: “Due to coming from a non-farming background, I’m often asked how I came to love farms.
“I’m born and bred in Wiltshire, and I’ve always loved being outdoors and surrounded by nature. Family friends’ farms are where my agricultural inspiration came from.
“My first main involvement within the livestock sector, which has become my main interest in agriculture, was sheep work when I was fourteen.
“Working alongside a shepherd for a number of years sparked an initial interest for sheep in me which led to me to acquiring my own flock of 20 sheep, which I’m very proud of achieving.
“The joy I received from family and friends through the lambing season allowed me to appreciate how much you can achieve, even with very little, when you’re passionate about something.
“I had to sell my flock due to moving to Harper but I wouldn’t hesitate to manage one again in the future.
“Since I realised my interest in agriculture, I’ve pushed myself to gain a wide range of agricultural skills; including working within dairy, beef and arable sectors, along with sheep. However, I have little experience in working with pigs and poultry so the pig production side to JSR is a hugely exciting task, which I’m looking forward to being involved with.
“The placement provides a variety of work experience, including in harvesting, pig production, beef production, along with working with a genetics department and a marketing team.
“My first experience of harvesting came last year when I took a summer harvesting job. It was something I really enjoyed and it opened my eyes to something totally new. I learnt so much about machinery and modern technology, as well as the overall crop harvesting times, cultivation methods, moisture testing, grain storage and trailer skills.
“The extra funding that the scholarship provides will enable me to concentrate on university without financial restraints. It also allows for potential alternative opportunities throughout my time at Harper along with creating further connections in the industry for future progression.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to JSR for seeing the potential in me and appointing me as their 2018 placement student. I’m absolutely delighted to have this opportunity, allowing me to expand my knowledge within the agricultural industry.”