A TOTAL of £30,000 has been granted to local students courtesy of an agricultural society.

Eighteen students, each of which studies in agriculture, horticultural or similar subject areas, have received Melplash's Agricultural Society's bursary for 2021.

Each student, all of whom live within 12 miles of Melplash village church - one of the requirements for applicants - applied for a grant and undertook an interview before a bursary was awarded. The students will receive up to £2,000 to help them further their education.

Of the 18 students, five have been awarded the bursary for the first time, whilst the rest continue to be supported by the society.

Society director, Dan Newman, said: “Despite not holding our annual agricultural show this year, we are delighted to still be able to make substantial awards due to the very generous and continued support of our sponsors, donors and members.

"It is essential that we do what we can to attract more youngsters into agriculture; this is one of the missions of the Society and the objective behind the Bursary Scheme.

"As a local farmer it is refreshing and very rewarding to see the enthusiasm and commitment that is shown by these youngsters to pursuing careers in agriculture.

"It is pleasing to see that the attitudes towards working in farming is slowly changing as young people recognise that there is a wealth of opportunities open to them. I look forward to following the progress of our Bursary students over the coming years."

The society has awarded £172,000 to 73 students since the scheme started in 2006.