Three higher education students who are studying Agriculture at Bridgwater College’s Cannington Centre have recently proved to be a match for other students across the country by demonstrating their managerial skills by gaining awards in the fields of Agricultural Business Management and Dairy Herd Management.
Harry Holt, Rachel Twose and Louis Smith are studying their second year Agricultural Management Degree at the College, which is run in partnership with Plymouth University.
Student Louis Smith, from Badminton in Gloucestershire, became one of only six agricultural students from universities and colleges from around the UK, to reach the grand final of the prestigious RABDF (Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers) Dairy Awards. Louis was required to give a talk on ‘The UK Dairy Industry in 10 years’ time’ to a panel of judges, before taking part in a debate with representatives of the dairy industry and press.
When reflecting on his achievements, Louis said,
“Being a Dairy Student of the Year finalist has increased my passion for dairying, making me take a brighter look towards the industry at a time when so much gloom is published. Bridgwater College is giving me key skills to analyse enterprises and consider the career options available to me. I had a fantastic day, it gave me a chance to meet and converse with other like-minded young students as well as industry professionals and consultants.”
As part of the Pinnacle Awards 2016, students Harry Holt, from Chichester Sussex, and Rachel Twose, from Bovey Tracey in Devon, developed a plan to help a tenanted dairy farm cope with the reality of an unprofitable milk price.
The awards, run by the Farmers Club and ADAS, are now in their 19th year. The rigorous assessment process evaluated the business management skills of finalists through scrutiny of their coursework project, followed by a panel interview and a formal presentation at the Farmers Club in London.
The project was selected as one of eight finalists from entries from leading agricultural universities across the UK. Harry was selected to progress on to the individual presentations and gained the coveted Bronze award and a cheque for £600.
On reflection of his success, Harry commented,
“To have all our hard work rewarded by being nominated for the Pinnacle Award was fantastic and to experience the Farmers Club was a true privilege. The mix of emotions leading up to and throughout the further interview and presentation was exhausting but thrilling at the same time. Receiving the bronze award was very unexpected but has given me such a confidence boost and pride in my studies.”
Rachel Twose added,
“Going to London was a great achievement. It was interesting to see what other Agricultural students have been studying across the country and be able to learn from them.”
Martin Heal, Course Leader for Higher Education Agriculture at Bridgwater College, said,
“We are extremely proud of our higher education group at the College. Louis, Rachel and Harry have gained valuable experience and have demonstrated their managerial abilities to the highest level. They represent the wide appeal of the course which attracts students from all over the south west and as far afield as Sussex. This bodes well for the new BSc(Hons) degrees in Agriculture Management and Food Chain Management which are being launched at the Cannington Centre this autumn.”