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    Commitment to dairy secures Harper student Kirsten one of the first Nuffield Next-Gen scholarships

    Posted 5 April

     Nuffield Next-Gen Scholarship recipient Kirsten Henry

    A final year Agriculture with Animal Science student has been named as one of the inaugural winners of the Nuffield Next-Gen Scholarship.

    The Scholarships were set up as a pilot programme for 2024 with the intention to develop young talent and lead positive change in agriculture, and final year BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Animal Science student Kirsten Henry was one of three recipients chosen.

    Kirsten, from Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, was one of three successful scholars picked for the programme, which was open to applicants in Northern Ireland aged 18-24 with a demonstratable interest in the dairy industry.

    Kirsten – who was also one of two Harper Adams students who made it to the finals of Dairy Student of the Year – was selected for an interview with Nuffield Farming representatives in Belfast after her initial application proved a success.

    Funded by the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust and the Thomas Henry Foundation, the scholarships were hotly contested – and Kirsten was delighted to be chosen as one of the successful three applicants.

    She said: “It is a huge honour and very rewarding to be one of the first recipients of the next-gen scholarship. I am really looking forward to attending the dairy tour across the UK.

    “As a Next-Gen Scholar, I will visit a variety of dairy businesses, including Evolution Farming in Leicestershire, Grosvenor Farms in Cheshire, and Lye Cross Farm in Somerset, as well as extensive grazing and organic systems.

    “I will also have the opportunity to attend both Balmoral and the Highland Show and learn from industry experts on a range of topics from succession planning to soil health.”

    Kirsten – who grew up on her family farm in Northern Ireland – was drawn to her course at Harper Adams by her passion for bovine genetics – specifically dairy.

    She added: “This led me to successfully complete a placement with the world-leading provider of bovine genetics, Genus ABS. I had the opportunity to experience every concept of the business such as reproductive management solutions, genetic management systems, technical services, sales, reproductive technology, semen sorting, semen delivery and genomic sampling.

    “I developed my skills further through team meetings, visiting customers and helping them to reach their fertility and breeding goals within their herd.

    “As a placement student I had a management role overlooking the streams of ‘GENE Advance’, Genus’s genomic sampling service, and from this I developed many working relationships with customers and the genetic services team.”

    Following her success during her placement year, Kirsten has now been offered a graduate job with Genus ABS in Northern Ireland which she is hoping to take up after she graduates from University this September.

    She added: “Studying at Harper Adams has been a very rewarding and fulfilling experience, the past four years have been filled with valuable learning opportunities, a supportive teaching environment, and a vibrant campus community.

    “The academic environment of Harper Adams fosters intellectual growth and encourages critical thinking, while the diverse student body enhances cultural understanding and collaboration through many extra-curriculars which I have been involved in as Secretary of Harper Ireland and Vice-Captain of Women’s rugby.

    “Overall, my time here has been rewarding, inspiring, and has equipped me with the skills and knowledge needed for future success.”

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