Farm stay gives student unforgettable experience

Olivia Nicholson, an agriculture student at Harper Adams University, in Shropshire, has spent recent

Olivia Nicholson, an agriculture student at Harper Adams University, in Shropshire, has spent recent months being mentored by a progressive pig farmer near Woodbridge as part of the McDonalds Progressive Young Farmer Training Programme, launched in 2012. Photo by Daniel Lynch (lynchpix.co.uk). - Credit: Daniel Lynch (lynchpix.co.uk)

A student with no previous experience in farming has made an impression working with livestock in the Suffolk countryside.

Olivia Nicholson, an agriculture student at Harper Adams University, in Shropshire, has spent recent months being mentored by a progressive pig farmer near Woodbridge.

The 20-year-old was one of only three young agriculture students selected to join the third intake of the McDonald’s Progressive Young Farmer Training Programme, launched in 2012.

Miss Nicholson, from Ashbourne, Derbyshire, had no background in farming but was attracted to the programme’s promise of practical experience in the agricultural supply chain – from growing and rearing produce on the farm, to serving food to customers at the restaurant counter.

During the year-long programme, she will also spend time working with several of the food companies which supply ingredients for McDonald’s.


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In the final stage, Miss Nicholson will work alongside employees in a McDonald’s restaurant, where she will have the chance to speak to customers first-hand and prepare ingredients she has seen grown, reared and harvested.

She said: “I had never considered working with pigs before but I’ve enjoyed my farm placement so much that I now hope to run my own pig breeding farm in the future.

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“I’ve learned so much from having a mentor who takes a very forward-thinking approach to farming and is always coming up with new ways to improve the efficiency of his farm.”

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