Anthony, 24, runs a large farm business and haulage contractors in Norfolk, and chose to return to Harper Adams to study a PgC Soil and Water Management part-time.
Why did you choose to study at Harper Adams?
The open day demonstrated a fantastic student life and allowed prospective students to talk face to face with current HAUC students to discover that there was a good work and social balance. There was a friendly atmosphere on and around campus. It also had great facilities compared to other agricultural universities I visited. Furthermore, and possibly most important, was that Harper Adams had a great reputation with employers and other industry personnel.
How would you describe Harper Adams?
An opportunity that cannot be missed and won’t be regretted if taken! The university has a great reputation. The courses are tried and tested and staff offer great support to students.
What were the best things about your course?
There was a good balance of theory and practical, which other agricultural universities at the time did not offer.
What do you think of the teaching and staff support here?
Second to none! I never found one member of staff to be unhelpful with any aspects of studies or student life. Likewise the teaching was very good and looking back I feel that I have been lucky to have been taught by some brilliant lecturers who are all very passionate within their subject areas.
What are your favourite memories of being at university?
Being amongst your friends all the time. There were many memorable events such as nights out, weekend events run by the university, the balls held each term.
Where did you spend your placement year?
Vines Farm, South Oxfordshire. I was a Stockman for the farm’s pedigree herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle.
What would you do in a typical day? Which tasks were most enjoyable and which were most useful?
My jobs including checking cattle, arable work and estate maintenance. Working with the pedigree cattle was the most enjoyable as it was completely different to what I am used to. All the tasks were useful though because I chose a placement that was very different to what I am used to at home.
What did you enjoy most about it?
Meeting a new group of friends, learning about different aspects of agriculture and memories of a very enjoyable 15 months in the industry.
Has it helped your career?
Yes, as many employers were attracted to the placement year being incorporated within the degree course. I felt that most students returned from placement more mature and I think it was partly because of the transition from young students to adulthood, ready for the world of employment upon graduation.
What do you do now?
I am a farmer. We deal with cattle and arable as well as agricultural. I was given the opportunity at home to take on our family farm and I felt it was a golden opportunity. We also have haulage contracting as a side line to the business. I love the variety of work on a daily basis. No day is the same, FACT!
Has your time at university helped?
There are some brilliant opportunities for graduates within the agricultural industry. The Agriculture course gave me a theoretical and scientific background to the agricultural industry, something that is often required, or at least touched upon, on a daily basis with the cattle or the arable enterprises. I gained practical knowledge within the agricultural sector due to my course and my placement year. I also found that there was great support from the careers department.
And you have returned to us for a postgraduate course?
Yes, I’m studying the PgC in Soil and Water Management. I always had a keen interest in the soil and water aspects of my undergraduate degree. I felt that I wanted to further my studies to give me the advantage over other graduates and Harper Adams offered a postgraduate certificate in the exact subject area I was interested in. The course material is very useful as a farmer.