Posted 28 September 2018
"Harper Adams is a very positive university. It's all about the future, it's about ambition, it's about innovation, it's about technology."
“I don’t feel that I deserve it, but I accept if very grateful on behalf of the National Farmers’ Union because it is a brilliant organisation” – the words of Minette Batters, NFU President, ahead of receiving and honorary doctorate form Harper Adams University on graduation day 2018.
“It is a massive honour, which was completely, completely unexpected,” said Minette as she took to the stage to congratulate graduates from the university’s agriculture, business and land and property management degrees.
Her advice to the graduands focussed on embracing change and making the most of opportunities as they arise.
“I genuinely think that when you look back can you only ever regret what you haven't done in life. Yes, you will do things wrong and things will not work out, but that is how you learn. So my life lesson is to go out there and really embrace opportunities, to dust yourself off when things go wrong and to learn from it.
Something I tell every farmer that I meet is that, with Brexit, we are facing a lot of risk. We don't know actually where we're going to dock the UK, whether it's going to be in a relationship with the EU, whether that relationship is going to be severed, whether we're going to create a whole new relationship with the rest of the world or, indeed, if it's going to be a bit of both. There's a lot of risk out there.
“But there’s also a lot of opportunity and Harper Adams is a very positive university. It's all about the future, it's about ambition, it's about innovation, it's about technology. This is a time of opportunity but most of all it is a time of change and I think the youngsters that are graduating today are at the forefront of that change and I know they'll embrace it. As long as they can embrace change, they'll be in a great place.
Minette continued: “Harper is all about embracing innovation; about embracing new technology. There's so much talk of green Brexit, and of the environment but I genuinely believe it is the technologies that have been pioneered here that will deliver the green Brexit.
"It's not just about planting pollinators; planting trees or hedges; it really is about making sure that our farming footprint is decreasing and Harper Adams is doing every single bit of that here. We must embrace what is going on at Harper!”