Kaleb Cooper takes bursary recipients to their first market sale

Two agriculture students from the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) have been awarded the first Kaleb Cooper Agriculture Bursary – a fund that helps students from non-agricultural backgrounds who may have otherwise struggled to get into the sector.

The two students, Caitlyn Bartlett and Caitlin Oxton, were selected from a batch of applications for the first ever bursary, which was launched earlier this year at the RAU’s Cirencester campus.

The bursary, which was open to RAU undergraduate agriculture students, will provide Caitlyn and Caitlin with a £3,000 payment each, as well as a work placement with either Mr Cooper himself or one of his industry partners.

See also: Kaleb Cooper launches RAU bursary for budding farmers

As part of the formal announcement, the two girls joined Mr Cooper at Cirencester market to help him buy two calves, which will join the herd at his farm near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire.

Mr Cooper said: “It’s been an amazing day. It’s really exciting to have Caitlyn and Caitlin with me – to introduce them to their first cattle market and actually buy their first cattle.

“I didn’t start bidding on cattle until I was 24 because I didn’t have the confidence. If I can give them the confidence at 19 and 20 then that’s what investing in people and future farming generations is all about.  

“Cailtyn bought a calf for me – and they both had a bid. To see the smile on their faces was great fun. And this is just the start for them – and I hope they enjoy farming as much as I do.”

Caitlyn Bartlett, who is 19 and comes from the village of Brothertoft near Boston in Lincolnshire, is in her first year of a BSc in Agriculture at the RAU.

She said: “It was a great experience and amazing to be able to bid. 

“Coming from a non-farming background, it can be challenging to enter an industry that is often based on what contacts you have, so I was really pleased to have been selected as one of the bursary winners.

“This bursary will not only help me to gain further vital industry experience and knowledge through the work placement with Kaleb himself, but will really help open up many different opportunities for me in the future within the agricultural sector.”