A BURSARY has been launched in memory of farming champion Joe Henson MBE.

In tribute to the “fantastic work” of Joe, The Joe Henson Bursary has been set up by the Three Counties Agricultural Society, of which Joe was a former president, and will see grants of up to £3,000 donated to two students from the three counties of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire who are studying agriculture or related subjects.

Ken Nottage, CEO of Three Counties, said the Society was “deeply saddened” by the news of Joe’s passing.

Joe was a highly regarded member of the Three Counties Agricultural Society and it was his vision and passion for rare breeds that sees us champion them as a core part of our Royal Three Counties Show today.

“In tribute of Joe’s fantastic work, we are thrilled to be launching a bursary in his memory. The Joe Henson Bursary will support those within the three counties venturing into further education in agriculture or related subjects.

“This is something both Joe and the Three Counties are deeply passionate about and forms just one part of our efforts to future proof the opportunities within the agricultural industries.”

Joe was president of the Three Counties Agricultural Society and it was through his vision that ‘Rare Breed Sunday’ has become a feature of the Royal Three Counties Show.

Joe is also known for being instrumental in the foundation of the Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST) of which he became founder chairman in 1973.

The Joe Henson Bursary will support up to three years of study, with up to £1,000 provided each year to two students.

The Society said the tribute seeks to encourage those within the three counties to explore the diverse careers available in the industry.

And the Henson legacy continues at the Three Counties with Joe’s son Adam Henson, star of BBC Countryfile, an ambassador for many of the Three Counties Shows.

Adam his family is “absolutely delighted” with the bursary and believe that Joe would have been thrilled.

“It is an amazing tribute, besides being something with which Joe would have been so proud to be associated,” said Adam.

Applications for the bursary are now open and will close on Friday, July 1. Interviews will be held during July and August by a panel of bursary board members from the three counties including a member of the Henson family. Successful applicants will be informed as soon as possible after that.

To apply, applicants must complete a form available on the Three Counties website at threecounties.co.uk and on Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park website at cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk