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Honorary degrees and fellowships announced

Posted 11 September 2012

Peter Kendall

Peter Kendall

Key figures from the world of agriculture are to receive honorary degrees and fellowships at the 2012 Harper Adams Graduation Ceremony on September 21.

National Farmers Union (NFU) President, Mr Peter Kendall, will be presented with an honorary doctorate in recognition of his service to UK agriculture and leadership role within the NFU.

Mr Kendall, who farms in Eyeworth, East Bedfordshire, was elected President in 2006 and is currently completing his third term. He will present the 600-plus graduands with their awards during the ceremony.

At the top of his list of priorities is ensuring that the central role of commercial agriculture and horticulture in tackling the dual challenges of food security and climate change - and the pressing need for the sustainable intensification of agriculture - is recognised by those in power in the UK and Europe.

A second honorary doctorate will be awarded to Professor Dick Godwin, who holds Emeritus, Honorary and Visiting Professorships in agricultural engineering from Cranfield University, Czech University of Life Sciences and Harper Adams University College, respectively.

Professor Godwin is being recognised for his distinguished academic contribution to agricultural engineering and significant commitment shown to supporting and enhancing the work of the Engineering Department at Harper Adams.

He is an internationally recognised researcher and educator in the field of agricultural soil mechanics, soil and waste management and precision agriculture.

As well as the honorary degrees listed above, Professor Wynne Jones and Mr Clive Gurney will both each be conferred with the Fellowship of Harper Adams University College.

Fellowships provide a distinctive award of merit for individuals, other than current Governors or staff, who have, amongst other criteria, made a significant contribution to the industries, trades and professions served by the University College and who have not otherwise been recognised by the institution.

Professor Jones was Principal of Harper Adams 1996-2009, has served as President of Future Farmers of Wales and is a judge on popular Welsh television programme, Fferm Ffactor.

Among many other accolades, he remains Chairman of the Dairy Science Forum and of the Trehane Trust and is Chairman of the Moderating Panel for the Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies.

He is recognised for his leadership of Harper Adams whilst Principal, together with his significant contribution to agricultural and rural development initiatives through participation in high level government and industry advisory and consultative bodies, professional associations and scientific charitable trusts, and his continuing support for the University College in its activities in Wales.

Mr Gurney, a graduate of Harper Adams, farms a 400-acre dairy unit and 200-acre arable unit in Wigmore, Herefordshire, and was a member of the University College Board of Governors 2002-2010.

He has held a number of positions in the farming sector, including Chairman of the Cheshire Grassland Society and the Cheshire Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, and has served as Chairman of the Herefordshire Grassland Society, Herefordshire Agricultural Society. Mr Gurney has also won numerous awards, including Dairy Farmer of the Year and Grassland Farmer of the Year.

His award is in recognition of his past long service as Governor, particularly on a range of key University College Committees, as member of the Finance and General Purposes Committee, and his continuing contribution to the development of Harper Adams as a co-opted member of the Farm Strategy Committee, where his extensive experience as a dairy and arable farmer is invaluable.

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