Agriculture graduate receives prestigious NFU Mutual ‘Centenary Award’

Reaseheath graduate Joe Collins has been selected as one of four high-performing agricultural postgraduates who have received this year’s NFU Mutual Charitable Trust’s ‘Centenary Award’.

Shropshire-based Joe graduated from Reaseheath in 2015 with an FdSc in Agriculture before topping-up his foundation degree at Harper Adams University. Joe fought off stiff competition from postgraduates from across the UK during a lengthy application process for this year’s award.

Shortlisted applicants were invited to attend interviews at the headquarters of the NFU Mutual in Stratford–Upon-Avon. In front of a panel of selectors, candidates discussed the future of the agricultural industry and were asked to outline their person goals.

Launched by NFU Mutual in 2010 to celebrate their 100th birthday, this annual scheme provides bursaries of up to 75% of course fees for postgraduate study. Successful applicants are excellent academic performers and passionate about making a difference within the UK agricultural industry.

Joe will use his bursary to fund an MSc in Sustainable Crop Production at the University of Warwick with the aim of pursuing a career in agronomy. The Trust will follow the progress of all the recipients with the postgraduates submitting a report on the completion of their studies to highlight how the bursary has been of benefit.

Said Joe: “ If it hadn’t been for the FdSc course at Reaseheath I wouldn’t have even attempted university in the first place. Reaseheath offered me such flexible study options and this meant that I could keep working while I obtained by degree and gained further industry experience.

The course complimented my employment by broadening my horizons and gave me the transferable skills needed to develop my career.”

NFU Mutual has provided £250,000 to fund the Centenary Award programme which is expected to run until 2020. Applications for next year’s bursaries will be invited from January 2018. For more details see:

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