Clarkson’s Farm star Kaleb Cooper has announced plans to launch a bursary to help Royal Agricultural University (RAU) students to pursue careers in agriculture.
Self-made agricultural entrepreneur and farming contractor Kaleb shot to fame overnight on Clarkson’s Farm, Amazon Prime’s hit TV series which follows the ups and downs of Jeremy Clarkson as he tries to run a business on his Oxfordshire farm.
The 24-year-old has been working in and around farms since he was a schoolboy and is a passionate supporter of UK agriculture and opportunities for young people to enter the sector.
On Thursday 11 May, Mr Cooper joined undergraduate RAU students in Cirencester to launch his new annual bursary, which will provide £3,000 to support a student in exploring different paths into agriculture.
It includes the opportunity of getting a work placement with Mr Cooper himself, or one of his industry partners, either during the student’s university studies, or as a gap year placement.
Open to RAU undergraduate students who are living in the UK, the bursary will start accepting applications in September, with the first student receiving their award in early 2024.
Mr Cooper is keen to encourage applicants who are not from a farming/agricultural background and those who can demonstrate hardship or financial need.
He said: “Having come from a non-farming background myself, I believe agriculture can be for anybody. I know there’s so much potential for young people to have brilliant careers in agriculture.
“It should be open to all, and if you have financial difficulties or you’re completely new to farming, please do apply.”
RAU vice-chancellor Peter McCaffery said he was delighted Mr Cooper had chosen to support RAU students.
“This bursary will help to give the successful applicant the chance to follow their dreams and pursue a career in agriculture as Kaleb himself did. We are very excited to be working with him,” Prof McCaffery added.
Who is Kaleb Cooper?
Kaleb Cooper is a farming contractor from Oxfordshire and bestselling author of The World According to Kaleb. He plays a central advisory role to Jeremy Clarkson in the Prime Video series Clarkson’s Farm.
Growing up in the Cotswolds, Mr Cooper knew he wanted to be a farmer from a very young age. At 13, he was given responsibility for three chickens on four acres of land. Within months, this turned into 450 hens, laying eggs that he sold to teachers at his school.
By the age of 14, he was breeding sheep and working on a dairy farm and at 15 he bought his first tractor. On leaving school, he went on to study agriculture at Moreton Morrell College, before setting up his own farm contracting business.
Now aged 24 – and with a growing family (baby number two is due next month) – Mr Cooper recently wrote his debut book, The World According to Kaleb, which immediately became a Sunday Times bestseller and has already sold more than 80,000 copies. His second book, Britain According to Kaleb, is due out in October this year.