31 July 2018
The Royal Welsh Show took place last week, attracting 250,000 visitors to the Royal Welsh Showground located in Builth Wells. The largest agricultural show in Europe hosts more than 1,000 show stands offering everything from machinery to furniture and has an estimated 8,000 livestock entries into the numerous competitions hosted throughout the week.
Harper Adams University once again attended the show with a mix of current students, lecturers and marketing staff, offering guidance for prospective students to find out more about the University. The team could be found at the Harper Adams Pavilion which has been the permanent base for the University in Wales since 2014.
The warm Welsh weather helped attract visitors to the show. There was a real mix of things to do while at the Harper Adams stand. Activities such as the Harper Digger Challenge, designed and built and by final year engineering students as part of their course, allowed people of all ages to engage in some friendly competition. The crisp tasting activity provided passers-by with the chance to test their taste buds to see if they could differentiate between cheaper and more expensive crisps when all their packaging had been removed.
Harper also shared different research projects that are currently being developed at the University. One PhD project, that included an interactive element for the public to engage with, was regarding microchipped slugs. Using a tracker, visitors were able to scan an area of soil to locate the “slugs” so that they could understand the technology being used in the real project, which aims to learn more about how these pests move around a field. Members of the National Centre for Precision Farming’s (NCPF) UAS interest group also attended the show to provide up-to-date information about current drones in agriculture.
There was also representation from the Hands Free Hectare team, the world-first project being ran at the university, which aimed to grow a hectare of crop without direct human interaction in the field, to answer any questions and share their journey through the project.
Throughout the show week there was a large number of alumni that came to visit the stand, providing tales of their times at Harper. Many were ecstatic to hear that the university has grown and were very interested in the developments that have occurred at Harper since they left.
The evenings brought much excitement with the Young Peoples’ Village providing entertainment for those seeking a party. A mix of fairground rides, different live acts each night and giant foam cannons helped to create the party atmosphere. Harper once again sponsored the event and staff were pleased to see all the infrastructure that had been put in place during a special backstage tour.
The University also sponsored two cattle competitions during the show. The RWAS/ Harper Adams Dairy Young Handlers’ Cattle competition was won by Gwen Elen Jones and Dafydd Wyn Jones was awarded second place. The second competition which Harper sponsor is the Fitzhugh competition category which recognises the best breed pairs consisting of the breed champion and one other in the dairy section. This award was given to a pair of Holstein Frisians named Davlea Brandnick Alicia (owned by Mr Bryn Davies) and Clonpaddin Brokaw Fame (owned by Izzy and Gary Jones).
Siân Downes was named Harper Cymry Student of the Year. The award was presented to her by the president of the RWAS Mr Tom Tudor MBE FRAgS during a formal presentation ceremony at the President’s Pavilion.
Once again the show was a huge success for Harper and we cannot wait until next year’s show.