Fay Griffiths, from Herefordshire, graduated in 2015 after five years on the Extended Foundation Degree Programme, resulting in a BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Animal Science. She spent her placement as a scholarship student at Cargill Meats Europe and has returned to the company as a graduate.
Why did you choose to study at Harper Adams?
I came to Harper Adams to do the EFDP instead of A levels. I came on my 17th birthday straight from year 11 of school as coming to Harper Adams allowed me to gain the further qualification in Agriculture and Animal Science. I have always been passionate about agriculture and this allowed me to study agriculture earlier instead of A levels.
What have been the best things about your course?
The variety of both applied teaching through practicals and lectures.
What skills/knowledge have you gained that will be useful after you graduate?
It allows you to have a very strong understanding of animal production systems and animal biology which will aid me when working in the industry. You also develop people skills which are vital for the work place.
What sort of projects have you been involved in?
For my dissertation I did an EBLEX sponsored trial on the Harper Farm titled: “Can the parasite status of pregnant and lactating ewes be altered by supplementary protein supply.” It involved blood and FEC sampling followed by analysis in the labs.
How would you describe Harper Adams?
A welcoming and friendly environment with excellent learning facilities.
And the teaching?
I found most the lecturers have an open door policy therefore help is available to improve or gain a further understanding of a topic if needed.
What are the most useful facilities?
The Bamford Library has an excellent range of up to date books to help with assignments. Also library staff who run useful sessions for accessing journal and data online.
What’s your favourite Students Union activity?
There is such a variety of sports, parties and activities so there is something to suit everyone.
What are your favourite memories of Harper Adams?
Meeting new friends from all over the country that become friends for life.
Have you explored Shropshire and beyond campus?
Telford shopping centre is not far away which is good for nice spot of shopping or ice skating with friends.
Tell us about any extracurricular stuff you were involved in?
Being a Student Ambassador helped me to have greater confidence in new situations and allowed me to develop interpersonal skills even further. I am still an active member in Kington YFC at home, where I have gained many successes at National, WMA, Welsh Winter Fair and Three Counties in stock judging. Also undertook the secretary role during my placement year.
Where did you spend your placement year?
I worked in the poultry industry – I was a scholarship student at Cargill Meats Europe.
What would you do in a typical day?
My days were very varied as I experienced all areas of the company, followed by trial work in all areas.
And the best things about placement were?
Gaining a new experience as I come from a sheep and beef farm. It was fascinating to see how fast the chicken industry moves in comparison to other agricultural systems I have previously been involved in, it was great to experience and be part of this.
Did you apply what you’d learned at Harper Adams while you were on placement?
During my time at uni some of the modules touched on chicken production, nutrition and diseases, so it allowed me to understand the systems better due to already understanding the biology of the chicken.
Have you been able to use anything you learned on placement in your final year?
Working within the chicken industry has allowed me to put greater input into the lectures for poultry. But it also helped in exams for answering essay questions.
Tell us about the job you are going into.
It’s with Cargill Meat Europe and I was offered it after my placement.
What careers, in your experience, are available to land-based graduates?
Farm managers, assistant managers, nutritionists, consultancy, agricultural sales based companies… with a growing population there is an increased demand for food so there will always be jobs in this sector.