Harper Adams University student Sam Whitmore has been awarded the Worshipful Company of Poulters’ Scholarship which he plans to use as an initial investment towards building his own poultry business.
The 22 year-old BSc (Hons) Agriculture student from Ipswich, Suffolk, said: “I first gained an enthusiasm for agriculture when I started a Saturday job on a local pig farm at the age of fifteen.
“Each week, I gained more experience and knowledge and started to realise that a career in the agricultural sector was the way forward.
“I was first introduced to poultry rearing on a small scale, both at the pig farm and at home, where I finished and then sold broilers to friends and family for Christmas.
“Of all the different experiences I’ve gained, my work with poultry, although very limited, was the enterprise that stood out to me.
“Due to not being from an agricultural background, but wishing to progress into a successful career, I had to broaden my knowledge of poultry and agriculture. Attending Harper has opened the door for me to develop my knowledge and allow me to build friends and contacts which will be vital for the future and achieving my goals.
“My education at university has certified my passion for poultry, along with exposing me to the wider world and challenges that it faces.”
Sam’s placement year with Gressingham Foods provided further experience in the area. During this time, he got the opportunity to work with ducks, turkeys and geese.
He said: “The efficiency and fast-paced turnaround of the poultry industry is one element which particularly fascinates me. It also brings with it a certain level of pressure and management that is not seen in other agricultural sectors. This intensity and pace of production is why poultry is successful and one of the reasons I wish to pursue a career in it.
“Towards the end of my placement year, I was placed at a farm co-managing 30,000 day-old turkey poults. During this time I became very attached to my work and faced several challenges. However, I successfully reared them up until my return to university with very few problems.”
Sam has been awarded the Worshipful Company of Poulters’ Scholarship. On the scholarship he said: “This scholarship will help me to grow and develop further within the poultry industry as well as meet experienced individuals who could help mentor and develop my career.
“My long term personal aim is to build and manage my own poultry units and grow a successful business; contract growing for a poultry company. As I’m not from an agricultural background this may seem highly ambitious, however, through hard work, and smart investing I believe I can build sufficient capital to make my goal a reality.
“If I’m fortunate enough to complete my aim and create a successful business, I’d then like to support future young people interested in poultry, as others have helped me.”