A new bursary for those looking to establish a career in agriculture has been launched at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) by Clarkson’s Farm star Kaleb Cooper.

The annual bursary will provide £3,000 to support a student exploring different paths into the agricultural industry.

The student will also have the opportunity to partake in a work placement with Cooper, or one of his industry partners, either during the course of their university studies or as a gap-year placement.

The 24-year-old from Oxfordshire plays a central advisory role to Jeremy Clarkson in the Amazon Prime TV series Clarkson’s Farm.

Launching the bursary at the RAU today (Thursday, May 11), Cooper, an agricultural entrepreneur and farm contractor, 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 bursary is open to RAU undergraduate students who are living in the UK. It will open for applications in September of this year with the first student receiving their award in early 2024.

Speaking on the bursary launch, RAU vice-chancellor Prof. Peter McCaffery 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.”

Kaleb Cooper. Image: RAU

Pursuing agri dreams

Cooper and the RAU said the bursary is for those who have a “genuine and demonstrable interest in agriculture”.

The university said Cooper is keen to encourage applicants who are not from a farming/agricultural background and who can demonstrate hardship or financial need.

“Having come from a non-farming background myself, I believe agriculture can be for anybody,” Cooper said.

“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.”

Vice-chancellor McCaffrey said the 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,” he added.