Colchester/South Woodham Ferrers: Writtle College whizz-kids scoop not national bursaries

Writtle College's Francine Gilman and Stephanie Collingbourne have been given the NFU Mutual Centena

Writtle College's Francine Gilman and Stephanie Collingbourne have been given the NFU Mutual Centenary Award 2012 - Credit: Archant

WRITTLE College students have scooped two out of five prestigious national agricultural awards.

Stephanie Collingbourne and Francine Gilman have both won the NFU Mutual Centenary Award 2012 - a bursary from The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust.

The award scheme, launched by large rural insurer NFU Mutual to celebrate its 100th birthday in 2010, is given to potential rural leaders of the future.

The annual bursaries – which pay 75% of the course fees for selected postgraduate students in agriculture -are aimed at helping the individual students and benefiting the agricultural industry at large.

Stephanie, from South Woodham Ferrers, has just started a PhD in Agriculture at the Chelmsford-based agricultural college, while Francine, from Colchester, is reading an MSc Livestock Production Science.

Francine will be researching the effect of essential oils on sheep digestion to see if it can have a positive impact on climate change by reducing their methane emissions.

Stephanie’s research looks at cross breeding rare breed pigs with commercial ones to keep the good characteristics of rare breeds.