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Irish student selected for prestigious three year Claas scholarship

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WINNER: Claas has chosen David Thornton, 20, from Maganey in Kildare, as its next Agricultural Engineering Scholar from Harper Adams University. Mr Thornton is pictured centre receiving his award from members of the interview panel

WINNER: Claas has chosen David Thornton, 20, from Maganey in Kildare, as its next Agricultural Engineering Scholar from Harper Adams University. Mr Thornton is pictured centre receiving his award from members of the interview panel

WINNER: Claas has chosen David Thornton, 20, from Maganey in Kildare, as its next Agricultural Engineering Scholar from Harper Adams University. Mr Thornton is pictured centre receiving his award from members of the interview panel

The Claas Group has chosen David Thornton as its next Agricultural Engineering Scholar from Harper Adams University.

Mr Thornton, 20, from Maganey in Kildare, is currently in the second year of an honours degree in agricultural engineering.

As this year's winner of the coveted Claas Scholarship, David, who grew up on the family farm, will have his fees for the second and fourth years of his studies covered, and in year three he will complete a one-year sandwich placement with Claas, spending time in England and Germany.

In selecting Mr Thornton as its latest scholar, Claas took into consideration not only his academic background, but also his character, skills and enthusiasm for agricultural engineering.

Mr Thornton said: "I'm absolutely thrilled – it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"I have worked with Claas machinery over the years and have a genuine interest in the machinery they produce, especially combine harvesters, coming from an arable farm.

"I am excited about spending a year working for Claas. I expect to be working for them in Britain next summer, and then going out to Germany in October.

PRESTIGIOUS

"It's going to be great to see how such a prestigious company operates, and living abroad for the best part of the year will be some experience, even though I am already living abroad, having come from home to study in England."

Mr Thornton, who attended Coláiste Lorcáin secondary school in Castledermot before starting at Harper Adams, said he wanted to thank the interview panel for giving him such an amazing opportunity, and paid tribute to the runners-up who were "tough competition".

Launched in 2005 at the personal instigation of Helmut Claas, the Claas Scholarship is open to one second year student per year who is studying on either the MEng/BEng (Hons) or BSc (Hons) Agricultural Engineering, or the BSc (Hons) Agricultural Engineering Marketing and Management courses at Harper Adams.

Irish Independent