Clarkson TV star Kaleb looks back on apprenticeship

Mar 13, 2023 | News

WCG CEO Angela Joyce with Kaleb Cooper
A television star and best-selling author made a triumphant return to his former college in Warwickshire which had played a key role in his career.

Kaleb Cooper shot to fame in 2021 as Jeremy Clarkson’s right-hand man in the hit Prime Video series Clarkson’s Farm. The show documented the former Top Gear star’s attempts to run a 1,000-acre farm in the Cotswolds.

The success of the programme saw a second and third series be given the greenlight, propelling 24-year-old Kaleb from being a young farmer with humble beginnings into becoming an unlikely TV celebrity.

Many of the skills that millions of viewers have seen in action on their television screens and Clarkson has become dependent upon were honed at Moreton Morrell College, which is part of college group WCG.

Kaleb achieved Level 2 and Level 3 Agriculture Apprenticeship qualifications when he was a teenager back in 2016 and he recently returned to the south Warwickshire land-based college as a special guest speaker.

“Every week I was like, what are we doing this week? I’d rather be down on the farm learning than just be sat in the classroom,” he said to guests, highlighting the impact the college’s on-site farm had on him.

Career start

“So that was a really big help for me, coming out of school where I was in a classroom all the time, to being in a college that had a farm. That was amazing.”

Kaleb, who was also promoting his book ‘The World According to Kaleb’, told the audience how he started life in farming by selling eggs laid by three chickens his mother gifted him for his thirteenth birthday.

While he can now boast an Instagram following nearly 200 times greater than the population of his home town of Chipping Norton in the Cotswold Hills, it was rubbing shoulders with like-minded fellow young farmers that formed the highlight of his time at Moreton Morrell College.

“Coming in, speaking to people who were the same age as me, who are young farmers, the same as me and speak farming, was what I enjoyed most,” he said.

“Around Chipping Norton there’s about three people who were actually farming out of my year and I didn’t really get time to see them until I came into the college and they were here.

“There were people from Warwickshire, Gloucestershire and everyone else around the local area who are also farmers; it was a pleasure to meet them.”

Alumni return

Kaleb’s return to Moreton Morrell College was part of the college’s long-standing commitment for attracting back its alumni to share experiences with the next generation of learners.

“It was a real pleasure to have Kaleb back at the college,” said Moreton Morrell College Director Louise Ball.

“It’s always extremely helpful for our learners to hear from people who have studied at the college, which has been at the heart of agriculture in Warwickshire and surrounding regions for more than 70 years.

“Not so long ago, Kaleb was learning his profession at the college and we’re tremendously proud of what he has gone onto achieve in his career and I am sure his success, along his recent visit, will inspire other young farmers to chase their goals.”

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