£30k funding pot to boost careers, networking and skills across the agriculture and food sector in the region
The East of Agricultural Society is delighted to announce the launch of the East of England Agricultural Society Scholars Programme, with grants of up to £2,000 per successful applicant to help progress careers within the agricultural and horticultural industries. With the first two scholars already benefiting from their grants, the programme has three funding windows – with the first closing 20th February. Further windows will close in June and October, but applications are welcome all year round.
Society Vice Chairman, Stuart Roberts, said: “The East of England Agricultural Society Scholars Programme is an exciting new project for the Society, and I am delighted with the calibre of our first scholars. Going forward we anticipate this programme becoming an important core activity for us as we reach out to those who are looking to increase their own skills and knowledge, and to pass that on to the agricultural and rural community in the East of England.
“The future success of this programme will be determined entirely by the candidates who apply and are successful in receiving award and I would encourage as many people as possible to apply for the next round of scholars grants.”
The East of England Agricultural Society launched the fund in September 2023, offering successful applicants the opportunity to develop their careers, whilst also building a network around the Programme to help create future leaders in the industry. As part of the funding, recipients will receive mentorship from committee members and past scholars, be invited to deliver talks, and have the opportunity to feed into the wider Society network.
The first two successful applicants are Milly Fyfe and Liz Genever. Milly Fyfe is an award-winning PR, marketing and fundraising specialist from Yelvertoft, Northamptonshire, where she is a representative for Ladies in Beef, The Farm Safety Foundation, and The Farming Community Network. She is also English Panel Secretary to the Council for Awards of the Royal Agricultural Societies.
Farming suckler cattle, sheep, arable crops and rare breed pigs alongside her husband Andrew and two young children, Milly has also been a Love British Food ambassador for over 10 years and during the pandemic launched her ‘No Fuss Meals for Busy Parents’ food blog.
Milly has been awarded funding by the Scholars Programme to receive formal TV training. She said: “To be recognised and receive this grant is a huge boost to me personally, on behalf of my business and the wider farming industry. I’ve picked up presenting skills along the way with the experiences I have been involved with, although completely self-taught. However, having coaching from TV industry experts, using state of the art equipment, will really help to up my game, especially when it comes to communicating consumer related food and farming issues. I want to resonate with a wider audience on social media, through my YouTube channel and pick up work opportunities too.”
Dr Liz Genever has also received a grant in the first round of funding to complete Integrity Soils’ CREATE UK course; an intensive programme designed to train and empower consultants and coaches in the theory, principles and practices behind healthy, agroecological systems.
Liz is an independent and holistically trained beef and sheep systems consultant working across the UK. She is a third-generation farmer in South West Lincolnshire, near Stamford, and is transitioning the family mixed farm towards a more regenerative and biological approach. With a strong technical background and working with beef and sheep farmers across the UK, Liz’s expertise covers livestock production, grazing systems and sustainable farming techniques.
She is one of the founders of Carbon Calling CIC, which is building a community of farmers who support and learn from one another to make their farm and themselves healthier and happier, Liz also co-hosts a monthly podcast – ReGenAg chat.
Liz said: “The funding will provide me with new opportunities and new knowledge through enabling me to take part in the CREATE course, whilst also making local farmers more aware of my services. Being a successful Scholars Programme applicant has also given me the confidence to apply for a DEFRA Facilitation Fund Project, which will strengthen that connection with local farmers even further.”
Agricultural Events Manager, Ruth Trolove, said: “We are interested in viewing applications from anyone in the agricultural and horticultural sectors who thinks they could benefit from the programme, there are no limitations on age or background. This is a great opportunity to further your career whilst giving back to the community and to add to the network by encouraging future applicants.”
The East of England Agricultural Society is welcoming applicants for the current window of funding, and applicants should email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.eastofengland.org.uk/scholars/ to find out more information and access the application documents.