December 17, 2021, by aczjb1

Meet the award-winning Witty Scholar leading the way in sustainable farming

It’s been quite a year for Jessica Langton, a third year BSc Animal Science student and ambassador for the Witty Entrepreneurial Scholarship programme.

Being busy is nothing new to Jess, who helps run her family’s dairy farm in Derbyshire alongside her studies, as well as doing a part-time job and other extracurricular activities at the university.

Jess is committed to sustainable and regenerative farming and has worked with the university’s Enactus Nottingham team to investigate incorporating seaweed into livestock feed to reduce methane emissions.

“I like sustainability, I guess I’m very pro-green and pro-regenerative methods,” she said. “I believe that’s the way the world is going, so we’ve all got to go that way.”

And it’s this hard work that has seen her recognised in the media this year, receiving three national awards and being featured on television in the process. In September, she welcomed the BBC Countryfile cameras to her Langley Mill farm for a feature that went out on BBC One as part of their Young Countryside Champion campaign.

“It’s been a bit crazy, to be honest!” says Jess, who was named Agricultural Student of the Year by both Farmers Weekly Magazine and the British Farming Awards this year, as well as winning the Countryfile Young Countryside Champion award at the BBC Food and Farming Awards.

Jess is part of the Witty Entrepreneurial Scholarship programme, which offers financial support and entrepreneurial skills development for undergraduate students at the University of Nottingham through workshops and placement opportunities, as well as mentoring from academic staff from the Haydn Green Institute.

“My degree is all science-based, so it doesn’t have any business element to it,” she explained. “Having the family farm you need those skills to be able to run it – at the end of the day the farm is a business. So the Witty Scholarship provides me with that extra knowledge.

“I think it’s just great – it’s a diverse range of people coming from different backgrounds, all with a common interest of starting a business or progressing their business skills. It’s quite a small scholarship programme, it’s a tight knit group and everyone knows everyone.”

Find out more about the Witty Entrepreneurial Scholarship here.

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