College Student Lands Dream Opportunity in New Zealand Dairy Farming Scholarship - Bridgwater & Taunton College

Ambitious student, Robin Attwell, stubbled across the opportunity of a lifetime while scrolling on Facebook.

After completing his Level 2 Standard Stockperson for beef, pigs, sheep and dairy apprenticeship at Bridgwater & Taunton College, Robin was scrolling on Facebook when Somerset Young Farmers, a group Robin is part of, shared an advert for the Richard Wigram Scholarship, a gateway to an immersive experience in New Zealand’s dairy farming industry. Liking what he saw, Robin took a chance and decided there was no harm in applying, despite his doubts that he would be successful.

By the following week, Robin was ecstatic to have received an email from Tim Wigram. Tim, the founder of the Richard Wigram New Zealand Farming Scholarship, inspiringly set up the programme in 2012 in memory of his brother who tragically passed away in 2010 as the result of an accident on his farm in NZ. The aim of the scholarship is to enable young people over 18 to experience dairy farming in New Zealand through a one-year work placement.

Robin was shocked to have made the shortlist of just 5 candidates and had been offered an interview in the local area. Although nervous, Robin was pleased to find he was greeted by kind individuals who simply wanted to get to know him for the person he is, and not just his academic achievements. Tim’s father, Francis Wigram, who was on the panel shared his reason for choosing Robin as the successful candidate;

We had a good number of applicants but Robin stood out as a likely contender with his very positive outlook on dairy farming, ambitions for the future and enthusiasm to experience NZ farming.

One long week later, Robin received a phone call that would redefine his near future. Tim and his team expressed their desire to send Robin to New Zealand for a year, all flight expenses paid. In disbelief, Robin was “over the moon”.

Not only was Robin about to embark on a huge journey, it was his first time even leaving the country! Although nervous, Robin took the huge step to travel by him self to the other side of the world for a year of extraordinary experiences.

We received the wonderful news that Robin has safely arrived and is loving his experience so far. Here is what he had to say:

It is amazing out here! I’m just excited to learn more about their way of dairy out here as it’s so different to the way we do things in the UK. Not only milking cows, but they milk sheep as well on the farm I am working on so that will be a completely new experience. Meeting new people has been brilliant too, it’s like a whole different language!

Here at BTC we wish Robin the best of luck on his year abroad. We are so proud of what he has achieved and can’t wait to hear more about what he has learnt on his transformative year abroad.

Are you looking for your own extraordinary journey? Have you thought about completing an apprenticeship? Click here to find out what vacancies are currently open, waiting to shape your future.

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