AN AGRICULTURE student hopes others will be as determined as he is to overcome learning difficulties to succeed.

Alun Rees, aged 22, from Llandovery, is in the final year of his FdSc Agriculture degree at Harper Adams University College and was recently awarded the Harper Cymru student of the year award.

Alun says the combination of both practical and theoretical classes suits his learning style.

He said: “Having Dyslexia means that it’s hard to put things onto paper and quite often the words are jumbled up. This makes completing assignments really tricky.

“But being at Harper Adams has been fantastic because there is plenty of support available, from English lessons to scribes for exams.

“I’m not alone in lectures, others have learning difficulties too and we’re not singled out. Instead we support each other and are very open about the problems we face.

“I just think you need sheer determination and you can achieve what you want.”

Alun was diagnosed with Dyslexia in primary school. On finishing secondary school, he went to study for a National Certificate and a National Diploma in Agriculture.

He added: “I really enjoy practical, hands-on learning as I do find the written side of things difficult.

“Once I graduate, I hope to return to the family farm and take over running the 220-head dairy herd and caravan park.

“I want to use what I have learned at Harper Adams duringmydegree, so I have plans to start a grassland regeneration business – consulting farmers on how best to use their soils and grasses.

“I’d also like to improve the calving rate of the herd as my final year research project looked at dairy cow fertility.

“I also hope to learn more when I go out to NewZealand with the Gelli Aur College tour in August.”

Alun is a member of Llandovery YFC and spent his placement year on a beef, sheep and arable unit in Usk.

His brother, Carwyn, graduated from BSc (Hons) Rural Enterprise and Land Management at Harper Adams last September and the family has a long-standing relationship with the university – both Alun and Carwyn’s grandfather and greatgrandfather studied at Harper Adams.

Alun was recently awarded the Harper Cymru student of the year prize, which he will receive at the Royal Welsh show in July. He is the first FdSc student to win the award, and succeeds his brother, who won the award last year.