A talent for crops and a strong work ethic helped Harry Goring win a prestigious bursary for students wishing to start a career in farming, from a non-farming family background.
The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) student has won the independent John Innes Foundation bursary which supports undergraduates preparing for farm management and crop production careers.
Harry is studying a Foundation degree in Agriculture and Farm Management at the RAU in Cirencester where he joined from Easton and Otley College in East Anglia.
He is the second RAU student in succession to win the annual bursary, following Agriculture with Applied Farm Management student Alex Neason.
The funding will pay Harry’s complete course fees and allow him to stay on to study a full degree. He will also benefit from expert mentoring from UK’s largest farm management company Velcourt.
The bursary is open to students from 10 universities offering Agricultural degrees on a competitive basis.
Harry, from Halesworth, Suffolk, said: “I have had a passion for farming from a very young age. Although I don’t have a family farm at home I have grown up around farming and began working for my great uncle, corn carting at age 13.
“I didn’t perform amazingly at school, but I was inspired to go to agricultural college (Easton campus, Norwich), where I excelled. I moved on to the RAU and so far it’s been a great experience for me. Not only has it provided excellent tuition but also highlighted some of the possibilities available to young graduates.
“Having worked for seven farm businesses I have gained a lot of experience within the industry and I plan on continuing to work around the county to add to this further.
“The industry is going to rely on a range of young talent to drive it forward. I’ve always been enthusiastic about my future but gaining this award has opened some exciting opportunities that I’m looking forward to exploring. I knew I wanted a career in farm management and this hasn’t changed in the slightest.
“The John Innes Bursary proves you don’t necessarily need to be from a family farm or even have a farming background to be successful.”
Having worked for Velcourt before applying for the bursary was a big positive as the organisation was able to provide a direct reference to the John Innes Foundation trustees. These cited his hard work ethic, vision for a future in agriculture, a strong passion for the industry, attention to detail and good results in his crop production modules.
Keith Norman, an independent consultant and trustee of the John Innes Foundation, said: “It was clear from Harry’s application, the interview and the impression Harry left after working for Velcourt during the summer of 2018 that he was the right candidate. Harry displayed enthusiasm for farming, technology and presented a clear view as to how the industry will change technically in the next 10 years.”
Peter Innes, Chairman of the John Innes Foundation, said: “The foundation has always supported a wide range of activities at the John Innes Centre and other Norwich Research Park Institutes and this new Bursary in Agricultural primary production is a welcome new dimension to the portfolio. Harry was an outstanding candidate and we are pleased to support him in his chosen career.”
As well as entering students for external awards such as the John Innes Foundation, RAU offers a range of scholarships and support packages including the Core Bursary for students from lower income families and the Widening Access Financial Support Bursary for those living in areas with lower progression rates to university.