A 20-year old student from Catforth in Lancashire has been awarded a Duchy of Lancaster bursary to support her during her degree studies at Harper Adams College in Shropshire. Emma Benson was presented with the cheque for £2,500 at a presentation ceremony at the College earlier this month.
Emma grew up in Lancashire where her family ran a small agricultural business focused mainly on contracting and fabrication. Her interest in agri-business developed as a direct result of the challenges she sees facing small agricultural businesses and the ways in which tenant farmers can be supported by responsible landowners.
“I’d like to thank the Duchy for supporting me with my studies,” she said. “I have seen first-hand the sort of opportunities that they can make available to their tenant farmers to help them develop profitable businesses. My ambition at the end of my degree is to become an agricultural consultant advising farmers on how to ensure their businesses are as profitable and efficient as possible, whatever challenges they face.”
The Duchy offers bursaries to agricultural students at both Harper Adams and Myerscough Colleges as a means of encouraging the next generation of farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs. Last year, it added a new award for students of traditional construction skills, supporting young people at Moulton College in Northamptonshire training to become skilled craftsmen in disciplines such as stonemasonry and carpentry.
Commenting on Emma’s award, Duchy Head of Rural Christopher Sparrow said: “Many congratulations to Emma for being chosen from a strong field as the recipient of this year’s award. The Duchy is very keen to encourage enthusiastic young people into agriculture which arguably is a way of life as well as a career. We wish Emma every success with her continued studies and look forward to watching her graduate at the end of the course.”
Founded in the 13th century, the Duchy of Lancaster is a private portfolio of land, property and assets held for the Sovereign in Right of His or Her Duchy of Lancaster. Today the Duchy of Lancaster is custodian of 18,700 hectares across England and Wales, including key urban developments, historic buildings, high quality farmland and areas of great natural beauty.
Under the terms of the Duchy bursary, nominated students receive financial support during both their second and fourth years while in full-time study.