Student Harry, 19, wins bursary for aspiring farmers who don’t have a farming background

Harry Goring, from Halesworth, has won the 2019 John Innes Foundation bursary for students wishing t

Harry Goring, from Halesworth, has won the 2019 John Innes Foundation bursary for students wishing to start a career in farming. - Credit: Goring family

A talent for crops and a strong work ethic has helped an ambitious agriculture student win a bursary aimed at helping launch farming careers from outside the industry.

Harry Goring, from Halesworth, has won the 2019 John Innes Foundation bursary, which supports undergraduates preparing for farm management and crop production careers, but who do not come from a farming background.

The 19-year-old is studying a foundation degree in agriculture and farm management at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) in Cirencester, which he joined from the Easton and Otley College campus outside Norwich.

And he hopes to prove that a farming background is not the only criteria for success in an industry that will require a range of skills in the future.

'I have had a passion for farming from a very young age,' he said. 'Although I don't have a family farm at home I have grown up around farming and began working for my great uncle, corn-carting at age 13.

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'The industry is going to rely on a range of young talent to drive it forward. I've always been enthusiastic about my future but gaining this award has opened some exciting opportunities that I'm looking forward to exploring. I knew I wanted a career in farm management and this hasn't changed in the slightest.

'The John Innes bursary proves you don't necessarily need to be from a family farm or even have a farming background to be successful.'

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The funding will pay Harry's course fees and allow him to stay on to study a full degree, while also giving him mentoring from farm management company Velcourt, where he had worked before applying for the bursary.

The company's reference to the John Innes Foundation trustees cited his hard work ethic, vision for a future in agriculture, a strong passion for the industry, attention to detail and good results in his crop production modules.

Keith Norman, an independent consultant and trustee of the John Innes Foundation said: 'It was clear from Harry's application, the interview and the impression Harry left after working for Velcourt during the summer of 2018 that he was the right candidate.

'Harry displayed enthusiasm for farming, technology and presented a clear view as to how the industry will change technically in the next 10 years.'

Peter Innes, chairman of the John Innes Foundation, said: 'The foundation has always supported a wide range of activities at the John Innes Centre and other Norwich Research Park Institutes and this new bursary in agricultural primary production is a welcome new dimension to the portfolio. Harry was an outstanding candidate and we are pleased to support him in his chosen career.'

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