Joe graduated from University Centre Reaseheath with a Foundation Degree in Agriculture before spending a
gap-year sheep farming in Australia. He returned to the UK to top-up his Foundation Degree at Harper Adams University.
Joe’s interest in agriculture began on a smallholding owned by his aunt and uncle in Shropshire where he
launched a small business buying and selling sheep. This enterprise developed and on leaving school Joe found
employment on a mixed sheep and arable farm.
Joe was keen to broaden his horizons through study but he was reluctant to leave his job. He discovered that the
flexible study options offered at Reaseheath would allow him to keep working while he obtained his degree and
gained further industry experience.
In 2017, Joe was chosen as one of four high-performing agricultural postgraduates to be awarded the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust’s ‘Centenary Award’.
Joe faced stiff competition from across the UK and a lengthy application process to obtain this award.
Shortlisted applicants were invited to attend interviews at the headquarters of the NFU Mutual in Stratford–Upon-Avon where they discussed the agricultural industry and outlined their personal goals.
Recipients of this prestigious award receive a bursary to cover up to 75% of postgraduate course fees. Joe’s
bursary is being used to fund an MSc in Sustainable Crop Production at the University of Warwick with the aim of
pursuing a career in agronomy.
The degree course complemented my employment by broadening my horizons and by giving me the transferable skills I needed to develop my career.
When I started my BSc, I realised that my foundation degree had given me a head-start by developing my practical skills and my knowledge of business management.