Hartpury postgraduate to use Centenary Award bursary to shed light on dairy farmer wellbeing


Joe Goodenough, a Hartpury University PhD student is one of three promising postgraduate agricultural students from across the UK to have received a ‘Centenary Award’ bursary from The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust. The award aims to further their education within the sector.

Joe’s Thesis will explore how different strategies such as farm assurance schemes could include mental health assessments, to support wellbeing in the UK dairy industry.

He said: “I have held a long-term interest in both wellbeing and resilience within the farming community, and dairy farming is very close to my heart too. Since a young age, I helped with milking on my family’s dairy farm, so have a detailed understanding of the peaks and troughs of the British dairy industry.

"The aim of my research is to explore the practicalities of implementing mental wellbeing measurements into dairy farmers' lives to understand how farmers are feeling and to offer support and advice.

"It is a real honour to have NFU Mutual supporting my postgraduate studies.

"Advocacy is at the forefront of the improving mental health and by talking and being open about mental wellbeing we can help to raise awareness and support those who may be facing a difficult time.

"My primary aspiration is to be an influence of change in the agricultural wellbeing sector."

NFU Mutual launched the Centenary Award in 2010 to celebrate their 100th anniversary; to support agricultural leaders of the future, and champion research and innovation within the industry. It provides annual bursaries to pay up to 75% of course fees for selected postgraduate students in agriculture. Since this time, 49 young people have now received help through the award to further their education.

Announcing the award’s recipients for 2022, Jim McLaren MBE, NFU Mutual Chairman, said: “Our aim for the Centenary Award is to support promising individuals who are passionate about making a difference to the future of UK agriculture, and to champion their important areas of study. We are delighted to be supporting Frances, Joe and Colin with our Centenary Award bursaries, and wish them all the very best for their postgraduate courses.”

Research at Hartpury was recognised as 'world leading' and 'internationally excellent' in an assessment by REF 2021.

Hartpury introduced its first official postgraduate degree in agriculture last September - the MSc Applied Agricultural Sciences, and continues to grow its portfolio of agriculture research through a number of staff and student projects.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students at Hartpury (a university that ranks 1st in the South West and 6th in the UK for Teaching Quality, in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023) are actively encouraged to engage with industry programmes and initiatives, as well as contributing to research and topical issues. This raises overall student employability, reflected in the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2022 where 97% of former Hartpury students were in employment, further study or meaningful activity. In the National Student Survey 2022, Hartpury’s BSc (Hons) Agriculture/Applied Agriculture students reported an outstanding 100% satisfaction rate.