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    Vote Rob and Dan for Agriculture Student of the Year

    Posted 25 January 2011

    Rob Cotton

    Two Harper Adams students have pitched their way to the final five of a national competition in hope of winning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a country of their choice.

    Robert Cotton and Daniel Bradley are competing against each other in the Farmers Guardian Agriculture Student of the Year competition 2010-11. The public are now voting to decide who will make it into the final three.

    22-year-old Rob, from Starcross, Exeter, discovered a taste for travel after winning a scholarship and placement year with leading agri-business, Syngenta.

    Rob, who is currently completing his degree in Agriculture at the University College, said: “My placement showed me how much can be gained from experiencing life outside of my comfort zone.

    “I would like to gain an understanding of how Australian beef systems and their extensive nature can be transferred to beef producers in the UK and to implement their techniques in order to develop and improve my own beef enterprise so it becomes a largely successful aspect of the business.”

    Rob has worked on his family’s farm from an early age, as well as relief lambing for a neighbouring farm, contracting spreading and developing his own South Devon herd.

    21-year-old Dan Bradley, also hoping for a place in the final three, would like to develop his sheep knowledge and agricultural understanding by working in New Zealand.

    The Engineering Design and Development student said: “It will allow me to address issues, adapt ideas and produce solutions to problems at my own level and also stand me in good stead to share them with the agricultural industry, especially with regards to sheep. I want to learn the practical skills and the theory based behind it.”

    Dan, from Knighton on Teme, Tenbury Wells, entered the NSA’s National Young Shepherd of the Year in 2008 and was named winner in the under 21 category, third overall. He is a Harper Adams scholar and a capable fabrication engineer, having built his own specialist match plough.

    He has also helped to raise £12,000 for Diabetes UK and Acorns Children’s Hospice by driving two quad bikes from John O’Groats to Land’s End and then to Torquay for the national Young Farmers Club AGM.

    The student crowned Agriculture Student of the Year will choose from a seven, nine or 11-month paid work placement in Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the USA. They will have the opportunity to gain practical, hands-on experience, while meeting fellow professionals and new people and enjoying other cultures.

    This exclusive work placement, worth £3,000, is being provided by AgriVenture, which has helped more than 30,000 young people across the UK to experience a trip of a lifetime, while working and living abroad.

    To vote for Dan and Rob, visit

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