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Gifted agricultural students and future farming industry leaders invited to apply for bursary


By Alasdair Fraser

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Elin Havard benefitted from the bursary
Elin Havard benefitted from the bursary

Outstanding agricultural students are being invited to apply for a national bursary award aimed at greatly easing the cost of studies.

Offered through the insurance firm NFU Mutual’s charitable trust, the 2021 Centenary Award is for postgraduate agricultural students at Masters and PhD level within the UK.

Bursaries cover up to 75 per cent of course fees for selected applicants, with the closing date for applications set for April 30 this year.

The Centenary Award was created by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust in 2010 to celebrate NFU Mutual’s 100th birthday.

The objective is to create a legacy for the future within the farming industry and, to date, 43 agricultural students have received bursaries to help further their studies.

The award is open to individuals who have gained, or are expected to gain, a 2:1 honours or above degree in agriculture or a related subject.

Applicants must have been accepted, or provisionally accepted, on a Masters or PhD course in agriculture in the UK for autumn 2021.

At least one of these areas must form part of the applicant’s postgraduate course: sustainable agriculture and climate change; international agricultural development; the application of science and innovative technology to the agricultural industry.

The judging panel will seek applicants who are not only excellent academic performers, but also have a passion for agriculture and demonstrate the potential to become a future industry leader.

Jim McLaren, NFU Mutual ‘s chairman, said: “Our Centenary Award aims to support outstanding agricultural students as they grow to lead the next generation of farmers.

“These young people are the future of our industry and, by giving them an opportunity to continue their studies, we hope we can help them make a difference not only to themselves but also within our farming and rural communities.”

Elin Havard from Powys, Wales (pictured above) was one of three postgraduate agricultural students to receive the Centenary Award bursary in 2020.

That helped fund her MBA Innovation in Sustainable Food and Agriculture at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester.

With a passion for farming that began at a young age, Ms Havard said: “Having grown up on a beef and sheep farm, my interest in agriculture was instilled in me as a child.

“I relish this opportunity to further my understanding and gain the skills required to contribute positively to the future of our industry.”

Prospective postgraduate students who think they may be eligible to apply for the Centenary Award in 2021 should contact centenary_award@nfumutual.co.uk to request further details and an application form.

Information on the scheme and an application form is found on the NFU Mutual website: here


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