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    Posted 14 November 2023

    “Applying to Harper was one of the best decisions I've made - with learning so much, meeting lifelong friends and gaining valuable experiences, it has opened a door full of opportunities."

    A young woman - Isla Soutter - and a cow.

    An award-winning student whose studies secured her a graduate role with a leading food processor says applying to Harper Adams was ‘one of the best decisions’ she has ever made.

    Isla Soutter, who was originally from Cumbria but now lives in Leicestershire, took up her role with the ABP Agriculture team working on sustainable beef production after graduating from her  BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Animal Science degree earlier this year.

    A packed summer, after her studies were completed, also saw Isla tour Australia to examine the country’s farming systems – as well as be shortlisted as Agriculture Student of the Year for the Farmers Weekly Awards and British Farming Awards – where she took silver.

    She said: “Being announced as the Silver Award winner for the British Farming Awards Agricultural Student of the Year was a great honour.

    “It was a brilliant experience that significantly expanded my knowledge and awareness, inspiring me to continually push my limits.”

    The award capped a hugely successful year for Isla – who has been praised by Harper Adams Course Manager for Agriculture Dr Russell Readman.

    He said: “Isla is an excellent example of a student who has worked hard to achieve in higher education, is passionate about our industry, and who has pushed herself outside her comfort zone, seizing every opportunity to better herself.

    “It was excellent to see Harper Adams students shortlisted again for the British Farming Awards – and congratulations to Isla on taking the Silver Award.”

    Isla is now enjoying her first graduate role in industry – after taking some time to enjoy a break in Australia, albeit one with an agricultural focus.

    She added: “After finishing Harper and beginning a graduate position, I spent my time exploring Western Australia's breath-taking sights and immersing myself into seeing the diverse farming systems.

    “It was an amazing trip and a big eye-opening experience, providing me with a global perspective on the different farming systems.

    “I am now currently in that graduate position with ABP Food Group, working alongside their Ag team to aim to produce and deliver high quality beef that is sustainably grown.

    “I have learnt so much in my first months of working with the company and am looking forward to deeper involvement in the company and industry, working towards achieving significant targets.

    “In the future, I aspire to continue travelling, broadening my horizons, and contributing to the world of agriculture.”

    Isla attributes her studies at Harper Adams with helping set her on the path to her current career, and is keen for others to consider following in her footsteps.

    She said: “My journey at Harper Adams has been truly amazing!

    “Applying to Harper was one of the best decisions I've made - with learning so much, meeting lifelong friends and gaining valuable experiences, it has opened a door full of opportunities.

    “Graduating was a special day, marking the achievement of all the hard work put in over the years and it was great to celebrate with friends and family. 

    “If you’re contemplating studying at Harper, I strongly encourage you to take the leap.

    “You'll not only gain knowledge and skills for the future, but also create unforgettable memories - and countless opportunities.”

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