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    Commitment to learning leads to Agribusiness student's award nomination

    Posted 16 January

    A young woman - Alicia Jones - at the Harper Adams Smart Dairy

    A commitment to learning which has led her to seize every opportunity to develop her knowledge has seen a Harper Adams Agribusiness student nominated for a national Welsh award.

    Second year BSc (Hons) Agribusiness student Alicia Jones, from Abergavenny, is one of dozens of learners from across Wales who will be attending the Lantra Cymru awards in Llandrindod Wells later this week.

    The awards celebrate the initiative, skills and enthusiasm of individuals pursuing careers in the environmental and land-based sectors, and Alicia is shortlisted for the Farming Connect Learner of the Year (Under 40) award.

    She said: “I was surprised. I didn’t think I was doing anything extraordinary! I was nominated by a Farming Connect trainer, who was very supportive and let me do sheep work experience with her and her family - next thing I know I am nominated and being interviewed. 

    “Being shortlisted was a real shocker!”

    Alicia’s links to Farming Connect began back when she was a school pupil in Monmouth, where she took up their courses as a way of adding to her learning – and she has continued  taking courses ever since, working on them alongside both her A levels and her degree studies at Harper Adams.

    She said: “I just want to take every opportunity to learn and help future career development. I started doing Farming Connect funded courses when I was still at school, which helped with my A-levels and my own pig enterprise. From the support they have given me, I decided to continue the courses throughout university.”

    Alicia – who is now preparing for her industry placement year which will begin this summer – will find out at the glittering Lantra Cymru awards ceremony at the Metropole Hotel this Thursday if she has been named an award winner.

    She remains committed to continuing her learning – both through Farming Connect courses, and through her studies at Harper Adams, which she is using to develop her knowledge and secure a future career in agriculture.

    She added: “I studied business A-level and wanted to continue this in university, but have always wanted to be a part of the agricultural industry. I decided to combine my two interests and came to Agri-Business. 

    “Harper is a specialist university with an on-site farm which covers dairy, pig, sheep and arable enterprises. 

    “My main interests are pigs arable and dairy, so it was perfect for me and a placement year in the industry was also a draw - and Harper has a reputation of good social life!

    “I have thoroughly enjoyed studying at Harper. It is great to be surrounded by like-minded people which you wouldn’t get in a less specialised university.

    “Harper is well known, and this has helped with networking opportunities.”

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