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Harper Adams student bags award – and role with major supermarket chain

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A fascination with dairy has led an award-winning Harper Adams student to a graduate role with a major supermarket chain.

BSc (Hons) Food Technology and Product Development student Grace Brown first found herself thinking about where her food came from as a small child when living on her family’s farm.

While at Harper Adams, she has steadily worked towards her career goals, securing a placement with the National Farmers’ Union as well as both Scholarships and awards.

With a compulsory industry placement year an integral part of most Harper Adams undergraduate degrees, Grace was determined to use hers to build her understanding of the food supply industry – and secured a role at the heart of one of the country’s leading agricultural institutions, the NFU

She said: “I completed my placement at the NFU headquarters in Warwickshire within their Food Business Unit.

“Throughout the year I had many wonderful experiences, from attending national commodity board meetings and on farm visits to factory tours and meetings at supermarket headquarters.

“I even had the opportunity to travel to London throughout the year and visit Brussels with the Poultry Industry Programme. I really did get to experience the full food supply chain from farm to fork!”

In recognition of these successes, Grace was named the 2024 winner of the prestigious Truesdale prize at the annual Harper Ireland dinner – and she has also received the WD Morrow Scholarship among others.

The Truesdale prize is presented in memory of Victor Truesdale, former sales director of John Thompson & Sons Ltd, who passed away in 2001.

It consists of a specially commissioned crystal punch bowl and a cheque presented by sponsors John Thompson & Sons Ltd, which are presented to the student from Ireland deemed to have made the greatest contribution to life at Harper Adams.

She said: “I am very honoured to receive both awards – it is really encouraging having my work on placement, and throughout my time at Harper recognised.

“I had a lovely morning meeting with Anne Truesdale and Gordon Donaldson, the Managing Director of John Thompson & Sons, in April to share a bit more about my time at Harper with them and learn more about the award.”

Grace is now going to spend the summer back on the family dairy farm in Newtownwards, Co. Down, Northern Ireland where she began dreaming of a career in the food supply sector – before she takes up a role on the Morrisons Manufacture Buying Graduate scheme in September.

Senior Food Lecturer Rachel Hilton said: “We’re delighted to see Grace begin forging her dream career in the food sector – and her experience shows exactly how the combination of a keen student, our close links with industry, and the opportunities which Harper Adams offers can help set students on the path to a job they’ll love.”

Grace added: “I have really enjoyed my four years at Harper and couldn’t imagine studying anywhere else. I have made such great friends and had so many amazing opportunities and experiences, through the Harper Ireland Society Harper really has been a home from home for me.”

Source: Shropshire Star

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