Posted 7 September 2016
The industry is an extremely competitive place, however, the opportunities are there for everyone; it's important to seize them, and set yourself apart from the rest."
We recently brought you the news that three out of five finalists for Agricultural Student of the Year at the British Farming Awards are from Harper Adams University. Now we are putting each one in the spotlight.
Name: Gwesyn Davies
From: Powys, Wales
BSc (Hons) Agriculture
Gwesyn is about to start his final year at Harper Adams University after completing a placement year at 2 Sisters Food Group (2SFG). He was nominated by Tom Lander, Group Agriculture Manager at 2SFG for the award.
In nominating Gwesyn, Mr Lander said: “He was a real asset to the company during his placement year and he has unequivocally saved the company a lot of time and money with two of his many initiatives carried out during his tenure.”
One of the projects Gwesyn carried out was the making of a 15 minute ‘Shell to Shelf’ video. He identified the issue of visitors to the company wishing to improve their knowledge of poultry farming, but admitting people into the farm raised concerns over biosecurity and took a lot of staff’s time.
To overcome this problem, he sought director approval to create a video which would summarise the complete poultry supply chain.
He directed the video, with help from a professional editor, and also provided the narration.
The finished product was very well received by the company and its retail customers.
The second initiative was a calf feed trial, which was carried out between two UK leading feed companies.
Mr Lander said: “Gwesyn sought two major UK cattle feed suppliers for a feed ration trial whereby he pitted both feed supplies against each other in a comprehensive assessment of quality and performance on separate herds of dairy bull calves.
“During this assessment, he found that one feed ration had greatly better performance over the other ration, with no adverse welfare implications and the ration could be sourced at a cheaper price than its competitor.
“As a result of this study, it gave 2SFG a clear indication of the feed supplier it should use for the calf rearing programme, which will deliver the best financial and quality returns for all parties involved.”
Even though working full-time, Gwesyn still continued to support his family farm.
“During his weekends I know Gwesyn religiously returned home to his mid-Wales farm that he runs with his father, leaving himself little time for life’s little pleasures,” added Mr Lander.
“From my time spent with him, he is a very committed individual that can adapt and apply himself in a wide range of circumstances, whether it be liaising with farmers, auditing farms, presenting to retail customers or carrying out detailed projects designed at improving the business efficiencies, such as the calf trial.
“It is fair to say that when Gwesyn leaves Harper Adams there is a door open to him with 2SFG for his future employment as he impressed greatly during his year here.”
“My plan for final year is too approach my studies as I always have; work hard, play hard, whilst managing and expanding the farm alongside,” said Gwesyn.
“The industry is an extremely competitive place, however, the opportunities are there for everyone; it's important to seize them, and set yourself apart from the rest.
“The placement year at Harper Adams is a great opportunity to gain experience in a sector of the industry you may not have any previous experience in.
“It's a fantastic chance to network, and develop relationships with potential employers and businesses, whether it be for a career in the industry or something to take to your home business.”
The other two finalists are Nicola Blowey and Andrew Harrison