Celebrity farmer launches new agricultural bursary at RAU
By Sarah Wood
A farming contractor who shot to fame overnight has joined forces with the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) to launch a new bursary for those looking to start a career in agriculture.
Kaleb Cooper, the self-made agricultural entrepreneur, was the star of Clarkson's Farm on Amazon Prime Video.
Kaleb has been working in and around farms since he was a schoolboy and is a passionate supporter of UK agriculture and opportunities for young people to enter the sector.
Kaleb said: "Farming is who I am. Encouraging the younger generation into agriculture has always been so important to me. I feel lucky that I knew my path from such an early age and want to help spread that passion and drive. Launching this bursary means so much, as it can support students who want to pursue an agricultural career or who might be struggling to get into farming."
The annual bursary will provide £3,000 to support a student in exploring different paths into agriculture. It will also give the recipient the opportunity for a work placement with Kaleb, or one of his industry partners, either during their university studies or as a gap year placement.
Open to Cirencester's RAU undergraduate students who are living in the UK, the bursary will open for applications in September, with the first student receiving their award in early 2024.
Professor Peter McCaffery, RAU vice-chancellor, said: "We are delighted that Kaleb has chosen to support RAU students through this bursary. His passion for farming comes through loud and clear in his appearances on Clarkson's Farm and he has definitely helped bring farming and agriculture even more into the public eye.
"This bursary will help to give the successful applicant the chance to follow their dreams and pursue a career in agriculture, as Kaleb himself did. We are very excited to be working with him."
Kaleb is looking for applicants who have a genuine and demonstrable interest in agriculture. He is keen to encourage applicants who are not from a farming/ agricultural background and those who can demonstrate hardship or financial need.
He continued: "Having come from a non-farming background myself, I believe agriculture can be for anybody! I know there's so much potential for young people to have brilliant careers in agriculture. It should be open to all and if you have financial difficulties or you're completely new to farming, please do apply!"
Growing up in the Cotswolds, Kaleb knew he wanted to be a farmer from a very young age. At 13, he was given responsibility for three chickens on four acres of land. Within months, this turned in to 450 hens, laying eggs that he sold to teachers at his school.
By the age of 14, he was breeding sheep and working on a dairy farm, and at 15 he bought his first tractor. On leaving school, he went on to study agriculture before setting up his own farm contracting business.
Images credit: RAU
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