Harper Adams University is preparing to host a visit from its Chancellor, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, on 2 May, 2018.

The Chancellor will attend a symposium hosted jointly by Harper Adams University and the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth (RASC), on “Technology’s role in feeding the Commonwealth”, followed by a Ceremony at St. Nicholas Church, High Street, Newport, Shropshire to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Thomas Harper Adams.

During the symposium at Harper Adams University, the Chancellor will meet staff and students from the University, and representatives of the RASC, agricultural machinery manufacturer AGCO and Strathmore University Business School, Kenya, before hearing a keynote speech by Dr George Njenga, Dean of the Business School.

Harper Adams University is working with Strathmore University Business School and AGCO to deliver a new training programme in Junior Management for Agricultural Value Chains in Africa. Dr Njenga will address “The Economic Benefits of Implementing Precision Agriculture and Technology to build Sustainable Food Production Systems in African Countries”.

Later, at St Nicholas Church, Newport, at a university ceremony, the Chancellor will formally receive the University’s coat of arms from Rouge Croix Pursuivant of the College of Arms, before a number of honorary awards are presented to mark the bicententary of the birth of Thomas Harper Adams, the University’s founding benefactor.

Thomas Harper Adams was a wealthy Shropshire gentleman farmer. Upon his death in 1892, he bequeathed his considerable estate ‘for the purpose of teaching practical and theoretical agriculture’. Nine years later, in 1901, Harper Adams Agricultural College opened, with just six students. Now, 117 years on, Harper Adams has more than 2,800 undergraduate students, plus postgraduate, research and short course (CPD) cohorts.

Vice-chancellor, Dr David Llewellyn, said: “The exact date of birth of Thomas Harper Adams isn’t known, but records show he was baptised in June 1817. We are delighted to welcome the Chancellor back to the University to celebrate this landmark as the bicentenary year of his birth comes to a close. What makes the event more special is that we are able to share it with the community in which Harper Adams has grown over more than a century.

“We are delighted the Mayor of Newport, councillor Lyn Fowler and many more community representatives will be joining the University at its celebration.

“We are also delighted to be hosting a symposium on feeding the Commonwealth jointly with the RASC. This is a real opportunity on focus on how agricultural technology can make a real impact on sustainable food production on an international scale.”