Myerscough College students will undertake overseas trips later this year as part of their studies after being awarded travel scholarships.
Now in its eighth year, the annual fund, from the Lancaster and Morecambe Agriculture & Horticulture Society Scholarship programme, in conjunction with Norbreck Genetics Ltd, is once again paying out thousands of pounds to encourage young farmers, horticulturalists and equine students to study or explore business ideas abroad.
In total, £11,000 has been awarded, the most in the history of the fund in a single year. Among the lucky Myerscough recipients are Rachel Lawson, 20, a Ba (Hons) Equine Management & Development student; Frankie Gard-Story, 18, a Level 3 BTEC Agriculture student; Samantha Isheshe Jimawo, 25, who’s studying a Foundation Degree in Agriculture; and Rebecca Hodgson, 21, a student on the BSc Agricultural Livestock Science programme.
Most of the students are off all over the world, to countries including Kenya, France and Australia, while Rebecca’s award will go towards her fees when she moves onto vet school. There was also an award for Tom Hull, a Reaseheath College student, while a scholarship was also awarded for a Myerscough agriculture student to be able to attend the annual Oxford Farming Conference.
To date in excess of £52,000 has been provided for rural youngsters to expand their horizons all over the world, looking at a varied range of issues from walling techniques to beef rearing, sheep marketing, and equine development and research.
Head of Agriculture & Countryside at Myerscough College, Craig Thompson, says: ‘’The Society issue scholarships every year so that young people can travel abroad in order to enhance their career prospects or contribute to the development of the sector that they wish to work in. Scholarships are given to those within the land-based sector and are awarded following an interview process. ‘’
“Everybody on the panel feels that we have given awards to the right candidates for the scholarships, who put forward excellent proposals and are thoroughly deserving of the money. I wish everybody the best of luck as they embark on what should be fascinating research tours.’’
‘’We usually get a diverse range of applications from students in not only agriculture and countryside subjects but also equine, horticulture and animal studies.’’
Philip Halhead, from Norbreck Genetics said: “Year after year we get some excellent and diverse applications and following the candidates on their journey and beyond, we know the scholarship is making an impact. There’s a wealth of entrepreneurial spirit in Lancashire and we love helping young people who want to gain a global insight into their dreams.
‘’The money goes towards providing a life changing experience for students. More importantly, the way the fund is managed means we can continue to give away these awards for years to come.
‘’There have been big benefits for us some great use of the awards over the years. They are gaining momentum all the time as word spreads. We look for the passion in the students and for them to show us that they really want to make a difference and will do something worthwhile with the money.’’
The Scholarship programme was set up by the Lancaster and Morecambe Agriculture and Horticultural Society Trustees in 2009, to encourage young farmers, horticulturalists, equestrians and people involved in agriculture to study or develop their business ideas abroad. It makes use of money released when the Lancaster & Morecambe Show ceased and the sale of land created a fund that the committee wanted to put to good use.
Ann Turner, Principal of Myerscough College, said: ‘’On behalf of the students a massive thank you. It’s a tremendous amount of investment in a good number of young people. The awards provide real life changing opportunities that they just wouldn’t be able to undertake if the fund wasn’t there.’’
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by Dave Salmon