Posted 9 January
"Jill Willows was a lady who was passionate for the agricultural environment and wanted to help young people make their way in life. This is something I can only aspire to."
Clarrie Hocknell, 27, from Whitchurch, Shropshire, is a final year BSc(Hons) Agri-food Marketing with Business student and recipient of the Jill Willows Scholarship.
I applied for the Jill Willows scholarship because I have always been told to take advantage of every opportunity that is sent your way. I felt I had nothing to lose and a lot to gain just from the application and interview process alone.
Jill Willows was a lady who was passionate for the agricultural environment and wanted to help young people make their way in life. This is something I can only aspire too. Likewise, I knew that this scholarship was everything I believed in.
I feel so proud of the rural community that I live in, I want to do my bit to help young people. Last year I was the county chairman of Shropshire YFC, a position I would never have had the confidence and self-belief to do if it wasn’t for Harper Adams pushing my ambitions.
“It was a great role, looking after about 900 members of SFYFC. I networked with local businesses, helped run our busy calendar throughout the year with competitions and organised the county chairman’s ball at my home with over 2,000 guests,” she explained,
“The Jill Willows scholarship means so much to me because it has made me realise anything is possible, you just have to stand tall and believe in yourself. I am so proud of myself for applying and being granted this spectacular scholarship, thank you so much to the Jill Willows Trust.
“This will have such a positive impact on my future because I will have the much-needed money to buy resources for my final year of my degree and I will be able to invest some money into a new business venture once I have graduated.
“Without this scholarship, I would not have had the confidence to make this business venture happen. This scholarship has given me a focus and ambition for the future to make it a success and I do hope to be able to one day give back and support young people just like Jill Willow’s legacy.”
Clarrie explained that starting her studies later than many of her peers has been a great advantage in helping her choose the right career path.
“Having grown up on a dairy farm in Shropshire, I have always had an interest in the farming sector, specifically in the dairy industry. However, at the age of eighteen I felt I was not ready to further my education at University and opted for working in industry instead. My first job and stepping stone into the agricultural industry was advising farmers regarding on-farm genetics for their dairy farms.
“At 24 years of age and ready for education, I selected to study Agri-food marketing with Business because of the fantastic opportunities the degree would open up for me. I knew the course would suit due to previous work experience in the sector, my passion for the industry and having an advantage of being an older student, this meant I could easily envisage future career prospects and picture myself working up the employment ladder alongside ongoing work on the family dairy farm.
“Once I have graduated this year, I am looking for work in the Agri-food sector and I am also going to help launch a new diversification project at home on our family dairy farm. Which I am very excited about getting started with.”