An agricultural charity is encouraging people between the ages of 18 and 35 to apply for its scheme, which provides financial backing and mentorship to entrants looking to start out in the farming industry.
The Henry Plumb Foundation (HPF) launched in 2012 and has accrued a £2 million funding pot, which is used to subsidise individual grants of between £500-£3,000 for young people with interests, business ideas and study plans that will lead to a career in the agriculture or food sector.
The Foundation aims to sponsor around 24 people a year and also pairs successful applicants with an experienced mentor, to provide training and guidance on an individual’s chosen area of interest.
Leicestershire farmer and trustee at the HPF, Joe Stanley, said the Foundation creates a platform for young people to get a ‘leg up’ into the industry, including those who are not from a farming background.
He said: “The Foundation is a cause for great optimism for young people in agriculture - it invites and accepts an array of applications from people within and outside the farming community, including those with plans to study or travel.
"It is also open to a wide range of ideas and business start-ups. From smallholding to growing Christmas trees - it is incredibly varied.”
Mr Stanley also highlighted the invaluable role of the scheme’s mentoring system, which provides entrants with the skills and support necessary to achieve their aims within the industry.
He added: “We have a great record of matching up individuals with mentors from different sectors of the industry, which enables mentors to hone in and give advice on a specific area of the applicant’s interest in an on-going relationship.”
Dairy nutritionist at ForFarmers Bethan Till, 28, applied for the scheme after completing her PhD in dairy cow nutrition at Harper Adams University in the spring of 2018, and was awarded an overseas grant to visit a 7 day conference at the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth (RASC) in Canada.
Miss Till praised the Foundation for subsidising her attendance at an ‘incredibly informative’ conference on food sustainability, which allowed her to network with key industry figures and learn about food waste on farms.
She said: “The RASC conference was a huge learning experience for me and was incredibly helpful for my job as it informed my approach to nutrition, so that i am now able to better advise farmers on appropriate feed for higher yields at lower costs."
She added: “The Foundation is a helping hand – sometimes people do not have parents or academics that they can turn to.”
Closing dates for applications are March 6 and September 4, 2020.
For more information on how to apply, click here.