Before I decided to head to the RAU to study the finer details of agriculture, I was working on a mixed beef and arable farm to broaden my knowledge and understanding in the field.
In 2008 the farm diversified, becoming more consumer focused. A sister company was created which specialised in butchery, selling produce from the farm in the farm shop, and at farmers markets. I was thoroughly enjoying my time on the farm, and had not contemplated going to university. It was the encouragement from the farm owner that persuaded me to further my education at university.
I chose the Royal Agricultural University on its merits as a specialist university in the field of agriculture and the supporting sectors. I joined the RAU in September 2013, reading for a degree in BSc (Hons) Agriculture.
Studying at the RAU was not a chore; I was studying a field I am deeply interest in, and hope to pursue as a future career. The lecturers are experts in their individual fields, and are willing to help and support whenever necessary.
The course includes a 20-week work placement during the second year. However, I decided to extend my placement by 12 months, returning to my third year studies an academic year later than my peers. This meant I could work in both the agricultural and the agribusiness industries, across multiple locations and a number of continents. The experience I had, and the people I met, was as important as the degree itself. It enabled me to know which sector I wanted to pursue a career in.
The Royal Agricultural University has given me the tools I need to pursue my career within the agricultural and agribusiness sectors.
When I returned for my final year of study, I was able to customise the course and select modules which will directly assist me in my career. The course itself has considerable commercial value, as opposed to simply carrying out a series of academic exercise.
My time at the RAU was filled with joy. I made friends which I am sure will be friends for life. I have travelled around the UK and further visiting friends, I have even been to Kenya which was an experience of a lifetime!
After graduation, I will be starting as the Commercial Manager for Duynie UK. Duynie is a company unlike any other. It slots perfectly into the agri-food supply chain, servicing the food and beverage manufacturing sector and livestock agriculture is core to the business. Duynie's values directly align with my own, and contribute to my vision, which is:
- To improve the overall sustainability of UK livestock agriculture
- To bridge the gap between the producer and consumer
The Royal Agricultural University has given me the tools I need to pursue my career within the agricultural and agribusiness sectors. However, it is important for those reading this to understand; the RAU has the capacity to give you the tools you need and to open doors for a successful future, but you must use the tools well and walk through the doors that are opened to you.