Shropshire Star

TV stars pick up honorary degree titles at Harper Adams University

A TV farmer was among three people to be given an honorary degree by Shropshire's Harper Adams University.

From left; Adam Henson, Cat Henstridge and the Duke of Buccleuch

Farmer and television presenter Adam Henson was joined by The Duke of Buccleuch and Cat Henstridge, also known as Cat the Vet, at the graduation ceremony for students at Harper Adams, near Newport.

Mr Henson received an honorary degree for services to the public understanding of agriculture.

He said: “Harper Adams is one of the best universities in the country. When I meet young people thinking about getting into that agricultural food supply chain, I tell them that they have to work hard, to study hard. We need bright young people and they need to get themselves to Harper Adams to get the best start.

“Students leaving Harper Adams will have had a great education, but they need to continue to use the university’s network and its name. There is a large network out there of people who are ex-Harper Adams students and people who recognise it as one of the best universities in the country. Today’s graduates need to call upon that network and to use the Harper Adams name as a badge of honour.

“The future farmer will need to be innovative and be able to spot opportunities and work with others. Collaboration is key – you cannot be brilliant at everything on your own. These are changing times but rather than be scared of change, you need to grab opportunities when you see them.”

Also at the ceremony on Friday was The Duke of Buccleuch who received an honorary degree, in recognition of services to the promotion of graduate employment opportunities in rural land management.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, he said: “I am absolutely thrilled; even more so considering the extraordinary range of things that are achieved at the university. It really is at the cutting edge on so many different fronts, which is wonderful

"It’s great to know that Harper Adams University’s good influence is touching every corner of the country and sending out the most excellent graduates. We have had, through the Buccleuch family estate, fifty-plus placement students over the years. A number of our top people are Harper Adams graduates and what they are bringing to the business and what they will need to bring in the future is forward, visionary thinking about how we are going to do things freshly in the future. The countryside is going to need Harper Adams graduates very much."

Cat Henstridge, known for featuring on programmes including The Pets Factor, on CBBC, and Animal Madhouse on Channel 4.

She was the guest speaker at the morning ceremony, which included the graduation of students who completed veterinary nursing, veterinary physiotherapy and wider animal sciences courses.

Cat said: “I am really flattered to have been asked to be here. I know most about the veterinary nursing qualifications at Harper Adams, although the university does much more than that.

"I’m a massive advocate of properly trained veterinary nurses, of protecting the title of Registered Veterinary Nurse and of having them recognised as professionals in their own right. So to be here and able to congratulate the graduates is brilliant.

"They are really important parts of the veterinary team it’s great to recognise that."

Also on graduation day, it was revealed that Harper Adams University had secured the highest ever position held by a modern (post-1992) university in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, climbing into 33rd place overall.