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Students defend Grass Routes title

Posted 26 November 2010

The group getting to grips with the task

A group of six final year students have beaten teams from eight other universities to bring the Grass Routes Challenge trophy back to Harper Adams for the second year in a row.

The challenge, held at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, is a Dragons' Den style competition and involves the preparation of a business development plan for a ‘farm to fork’ case study.

Teams develop their proposal during the day, meet with leading industry professionals for advice and then pitch their proposal to a panel of experts at the end of the day.

The Harper students were commended for their depth of understanding and knowledge of the sector, ability to work as a team and professional presentation.

Team member, Thomas Woolman, who studies Agriculture and Land & Farm Management at the University College in Shropshire, said: “We experienced a very challenging day, where our teamwork was put to the test.

“It was exciting to compete against our rival institutions and particularly satisfying to bring the trophy home to Harper Adams.

“I applied for Harper because I heard it was the best place to gain an agricultural education, and winning the Grass Routes Challenge has confirmed that I made the right choice.

The other Harper students competing in the Challenge, which is sponsored by DHL Supply Chain, were Jonathan Colman, Helen Ross, Danielle Camp, Daisy Johnston and Chris Langdon.

Chris, who studies Business Management with Marketing, said: “Bringing together individuals from different courses and combining the specific skills from each team member worked very well.

“The real-life scenario that we were asked to solve will come in very useful for when we all graduate from Harper. It was brilliant to win considering the preparation and hard work we had put into the challenge, although we weren’t expecting to.”

Course leader for Agriculture, Russell Readman, added: “The Harper team were able to draw on technical knowledge and placement experience across a range of sectors to put together a well thought out and very well presented business plan.”

The team were presented with a cut glass trophy.

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