AN AGRICULTURAL society based in Bridport has handed out a record number of bursary awards to help students achieve their career dreams in the industry.

Melplash Agricultural Society has handed out bursary grants worth more than £30,500 – its highest ever annual amount – after receiving record numbers of applications from students looking for financial assistance while studying at college, university or apprenticeship scheme.

Society tutors interviewed the students over two days and has now awarded grants to 10 new students. It has pledged to also continue supporting 10 existing bursary students.

Board Director, George Rendell, said: “It was reassuring that, in these uncertain times, we received a record number of applications for a bursary this year.

“The range of courses to be studied were vast. There are apprentices who will split their time between farm-based activities and college tutorials and there are others who are working towards level 3 diplomas in agriculture. There are three budding veterinary students, one student doing a BSc in agriculture, another who is learning agricultural engineering and another taking a distanced learning advanced diploma to further his career with poultry.

“In summary, we are supporting some who will produce the animals, some who will learn how to improve production, both genetically and environmentally, others who will maintain the machinery to enable the production and some who will maintain the health and wellbeing of the animals.

“It seems like we have all bases covered!”

The Bursary Scheme is part of the society’s Discover Farming programme, which aims to inform, educate and inspire future generations to consider careers in farming and agriculture.

A bursary of up to £2,000 per year is available to students aged 17 years who live within 12 miles of Melplash village church and are about to embark, or who are already studying, agriculture or a related topic.

Among those to have been awarded grants this year include Isobel Minshall, who will be attending Harper Adams University to study BSc in Agriculture with Animal Science, and Luke Johnson, who is studying Veterinary Medicine and Science at Nottingham Veterinary School.

Society Secretary, Lucy Hart added: “In 2020 we are delighted to be awarding grants totalling £30,500, our largest ever amount. This is thanks to our extremely generous sponsors and donors who have continued to support the scheme this year.”

For more information about the scheme visit