Postgraduate agro-ecology scholarship awarded in memory of "unsung hero"
15 March 2017
OF&G is delighted to have set up a new postgraduate scholarship for agro-ecology students at Harper Adams University. Beth Williams, 23, has received the first OF&G Scholarship, which is dedicated to the memory of late OF&G Director Bill Allen.
Studying Countryside Management at honours degree level, including a voluntary placement year working with Shropshire Wildlife Trust heightened Beth’s interests in engagement, education and widening participation in the agricultural sector.
Beth, from Edgmond, near Newport, explained: “My motivation to study the MSc Agro-ecology stemmed from my passion and interest for the topics covered during my degree in Countryside and Environmental Management at Harper Adams. The concepts of integrated land management and the issue of UK food security were my main interests during the second year of my studies.
“Then the final year of study confirmed my passion for engaging people with the need to balance the use of natural resources with the ability to feed the global population.
“Importantly, I felt that the broad scope of the MSc Agro-ecology course would enable me to pursue my ultimate career aspirations; to work in an educational capacity with organisations such as the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board to make a positive difference on the way people engage with the UK farming industry.
“I am incredibly grateful to Organic Farmers & Growers for awarding me the scholarship. The support not only relieves financial pressure to enable me to achieve my full academic potential but is also allowing me to undertake education facilitator certificates with organisations such as the National Farmers Union and education charity Farming and Countryside Education, which will help me to undertake a role in educational engagement in the future.”
Presenting Beth with her scholarship, OF&G Director and Patron, Charles Peers, paid tribute to Bill Allen.
“Bill was a director of OF&G and advisor to members of Organic Livestock Marketing Cooperative (OLMC). He was an enthusiast with no real regard for the time he spent travelling the length and breadth of the country. His generosity of spirit went beyond his work.
“I feel privileged to have known Bill Allen and I want to pass on to you just what a very special person he was. He was one of those unsung heroes that we all talk about and never get any recognition, if anyone deserved a knight hood or saint hood it was Bill. I am honoured to give this in the memory of a very special person.”