Marshal Papworth scholars share learnings from Oxford Farming Conference 2023
Earlier this month, two students on the Marshal Papworth Fund’s Masters scholarship programme attended the prestigious Oxford Farming Conference after securing further funding from conference and corporate grants and bursaries.
Faith Mohammed and Patrick di Phiri are Masters students at Harper Adams University and Writtle University College respectively, where they are both undertaking agricultural degrees with the assistance of funding provided by the Marshal Papworth Fund, an agricultural development charity managed by the East of England Agricultural Society.
Faith, from Nigeria, is undertaking an MSc in Integrated Pest Management at Harper Adams University, whilst her fellow scholarship recipient, Patrick di Phiri, from Malawi, is studying for an MSc in Crop Production at Writtle University College.
Faith, who was able to secure her attendance at the conference after being selected by the Breaking Barriers Scholarship, in partnership with McDonalds, said: “The conference was inspiring, enlightening and eye-opening. The Farming Innovation session gave me more insights into the benefit of incorporating biodiversity on the farm, including new research into the dung beetle.”
Faith, one of six students from developing countries in receipt of the Marshal Papworth Fund’s Masters scholarship in the 2022-23 academic year, continued: “I was privileged to meet top research academics and industry stakeholders at the conference, and I am happy to be among the cohort of Breaking Barriers scholars during my time at Harper Adams University, with thanks to the Marshal Papworth Fund committee.”
Patrick attended the Oxford Farming Conference after securing a bursary from the conference secretariat. He said: “I was pleased to actively participate in the discussions and represent my university, fellow agricultural and horticultural students, and most importantly, my fellow Marshal Papworth scholarship holders, who may not have had the opportunity to attend this event. This event provided me with an opportunity to understand the global farming outlook at the highest level and I am very grateful to both the Oxford Farming Conference for sponsoring my attendance, as well as the Marshal Papworth Fund for the opportunity to attend leading industry events like this alongside my university learning in the UK.”
“We have been inspired to actively participate in the new era of farming and we are motivated to make a difference, be the change and help for our fellow youth to understand that farming is not for old people. It’s an occupation that needs young blood to drive it forward and strive to produce food sustainably for an ever-increasing population.”
Tom Arthey, chairman of the Marshal Papworth Fund, said: “We are delighted that Faith and Patrick were able to secure grants to attend the Oxford Farming Conference, where it sounds like they represented the Fund and their fellow scholars with pride.”
“Events such as the Oxford Farming Conference will really help shape a wider farming outlook for our students and increase their network of contacts, and we are delighted they were able to participate in this way. I have no doubt that this, alongside their studies at the UK’s leading agricultural universities and further field trips that we as a Fund are able to organise, will help contribute to their studies and make them even more effective agents for our vision of ‘growing out of hunger’.”
The Marshal Papworth Fund provides scholarships for students from developing countries, including year-long Masters scholarships to leading UK agricultural universities and colleges, and their bespoke 10-week short course, developed with Harper Adams University. To date, over 220 students have been educated at UK agricultural universities as part of the Marshal Papworth Fund scholarship schemes.