The first people in the UK to undertake an Honours Bachelor’s degree in regenerative agriculture have graduated.

The degree was launched by Writtle University College in 2020.

The college said that the regenerative agriculture course responds to the “importance and immediacy” of the challenges facing global agriculture.

Dr Anya Perera of Writtle University College congratulated the graduates and labelled them as the “thought-leaders of the future”.

“They take a progressive approach to farming production systems that encompasses sustainable practice and responds to political, economic and scientific change,” she said.

The graduates were joined by guests, family, friends and honorary degree recipients, including organic growing advocate Kuda Chimbudzi.

Famous farmer and television presenter Jimmy Doherty took part in the ceremony, in his role as the Writtle University College’s chancellor and he also congratulated the class of 2023 on their achievements.

“The world needs people like you – graduates who are ready to shape our future. Whichever path you choose to take, I have no doubt you will continue to make the world a better place, both personally and professionally,” he said.

Regenerative agriculture

The college said regenerative agriculture students completed their course with an understanding of farm-level practices, the key principles of sustainability, the need for resilient food chains and the importance of mitigating the impact of climate change.

A number of graduates received trophies honouring outstanding individual achievements.

Henry Etherington was presented with the Essex Agricultural Society’s Award for the Best Agricultural Student and the Worshipful Company of Farmers’ Award for the Best Dissertation in the Agricultural Department.

Commenting on his awards, Henry Etherington said: “I would like to extend my congratulations to all my fellow graduates and express my gratitude to the agricultural and wider land-based studies team at Writtle University College.

“This team has successfully designed a course that addresses the pressing issues in national and global agriculture, both present and future.

“My experiences at Writtle have profoundly influenced my perspective on the agricultural industry and will undoubtedly continue to shape the decisions I make, as well as those of my fellow graduates, throughout our careers.”