RODNEY Phair, 20, pictured right, from Letterbreen in County Fermanagh, a former pupil of Devenish College, is a second year BSc Agriculture with Animal Science student and the recipient of the Vaughan Trust Scholarship in recognition of his achievement as the agriculture route top student from County Fermanagh in his first year at Harper Adams University.
The scholarship award will help Rodney progress further in his studies and his career.
Rodney said: “I am delighted to receive this award and I would like to thank the trustees of the Vaughan Trust for their support. This scholarship will help me to complete further land-based courses alongside my academic studies, such as telehandler, hoof trimming and car trailer test, all of which will help my future career. I want to take this opportunity to thank my sponsors; it means a lot to me that others believe in me.”
Rodney received farming experience from a young age; his family run a dairy, beef and sheep farm. He has also developed experience from working for different farmers in Northern Ireland, England, and New Zealand.
Harper Adams University promotes international job opportunities. Rodney took advantage of this and successfully gained valuable experience working on a farm in New Zealand.
He said: “In the summer of 2018, I was lucky to get a job offer in New Zealand working on a 350 crossbred grassland based dairy system for three months during the calving season.
“This experience taught me a lot about the different systems around the world and has given me more confidence in my ability going forward as an individual.
“The farm was located in the north island working for Tom and Terese Earls. Tom grew up on a farm in County Galway; it was fascinating how he had developed and adapted his skills to suit the land, the climate, and the very different way of dairy farming in New Zealand.
“During my time there, I worked alongside Tom on all the different roles but I also got the opportunity to travel to the New Zealand v South Africa rugby match in Wellington.
“I’ve always enjoyed rugby and played with Enniskillen Rugby Club – the experience of attending game where SA beat NZ for the first time on NZ soil was fantastic and one I’ll always remember.”