In our student bar a couple of weeks ago I was told that I don’t write enough about Harper Adams in my column, so this month I’m going to start my column with February’s Harper antics. You will just have to forgive me for what follows.


The month started with a business course social at the dog track in Wolverhampton. I have to admit that dog racing was something I had never experienced before and even though I came home with a slightly lighter purse I had a great time.

My next social outing was the Summer Ball fundraiser where Harper was very pleased to welcome Radio 1’s Sara Cox. She was absolutely brilliant and after her tweet of “I officially love Harper Adams, such a brilliant friendly bunch”, I am now a huge fan. But all of this fun does not come without some work – at least the list on my desk never seems to get any shorter.

I am currently working on my YARA wheat challenge, where we are following the growth of our winter wheat plots. I should probably get a move on with this we’ve only got two weeks before we have to hand in the final assignment.

Back at home, Dad has been busy with the clippers and, unfortunately, my British Blue heifer has been the victim of a full body trim. She does actually look pretty good, although I cannot give him the satisfaction of telling him that he did a good job. As for Mum, she won’t stop talking about her new little horse lorry. She has even tried to argue that we can use it for cattle shows so that Dad would feel better about it, but judging by the size of it I can’t see that happening anytime soon.

A highlight of the month has to be the NFU Conference in Birmingham. I was given the opportunity to attend through the Mid-Staffs NFU group and I learned so much, particularly in the way of food security. Sadly, it came a week too late for me as food security was the subject of an assignment that I handed in the previous week. Nevertheless, it was a valuable experience with some excellent speakers. If I included my full report of the day I would probably be twice over my word limit, but I blogged about it on the College Calendar blog, so you can read more about it there (www.fwi.co.uk/collegecalendar)

Perhaps most importantly the conference was an opportunity for me to meet lots of industry leaders including Minette Batters, who is part of the driving force behind ‘Ladies in Beef’ which I have recently become involved with.

Ladies in Beef is a group of women who are passionate about the beef industry and feel that the quality of British beef is under-valued. I will be involved with the promotion of British Beef through events such as “Great British Beef Week” (23-30 April) and will have the opportunity to work with retailers to tell the story of the Red Tractor.

It’s a really positive and active way of promoting beef to secure the industry for the future of farming families and their children, and I feel very privileged to be attending the official launch next week (14 March) at The Butchers Hall in London.

But this won’t be my only trip to the capital in March. I have been asked to attend an interview for a food product technology placement with Sainsbury’s. Two years ago I had the fantastic opportunity to shadow Annie Graham for my work experience at its head office in London. Annie is head of brand sustainability, agriculture and health, and an ex-Harper student. I really hope to complete this eight-week placement to develop my knowledge of this business and the food industry.

So my Sainsbury’s presentation and interview preparations are to be added onto my ever-increasing list of ‘things to do’, along with a presentation that I will be showing to the North West British Blue Club about my Canada trip. But don’t worry, it’s not all work and no play – I’m also going to see the Wurzels this weekend.

COLHW