This Fellowship, running since 2012, is a scheme linking Thanet Earth with the second year BSc commercial horticulture students at Hadlow College. It will continue for 2015 not only with the tomato trails position but now also with an addition “pepper grower award”. This year, Sean Fredericks is the successful student who will train at Thanet Earth and work closely with the commercial and technical teams to grow and identify promising new varieties of tomatoes. Following a smaller scale trial, project with pepper plants in 2014, as a second student – Donna Wolfe – has been selected form the first year BSc students to manage a pepper trials greenhouse too.
In the tomato trials, Sean will be responsible for over 400 plants in 657 different varieties through a six month period with the greenhouse technology requiring 24 hour monitoring. Last year a small trials greenhouse for peppers was managed by Hadlow student Sally Channon who has now graduated and taken up a position with Thanet earth. She becomes the NPD co-ordinator for the business with her work involving overseeing this year’s Fellowship students and helping them to make most of the opportunity ahead of them.