Posted 24 August 2017
"I hope it helps to show other young people that you don't have to be born into farming to contribute to the industry.”
Two Harper Adams University students have been shortlisted for the British Farming Awards Agricultural Student of the Year accodale.
A student from Harper Adams has won the title for the last four years running and now Hannah Dyke, who will graduate in September, and Georgina Gater-Moore, who has just started her placement year, have been chosen among the final five for the 2017 award.
Georgie, who is spending the year working for AgriBusiness Communications, an agricultural PR company, said: “I'm really thrilled to have been selected as a finalist for the Agriculture Student of the Year, I hope it helps to show other young people that you don't have to be born into farming to contribute to the industry.”
Georgie is working towards and honours degree in agriculture. “I'm not from a family farm,” she says, “but have 20 sheep, including Pedigree Jacobs. I bought my first eight ewes when I was 17.” When she’s not tending her flock or studying, Georgie is often writing. She runs a blog www.comebyblog.com and has had articles in a range of farming magazines over the last year.
“Journalism and helping to promote the voice of UK agriculture, particularly through social media as well, is something that I'm massively interested in. I set up a twitter account called Young Farmers of the UK, and every week a different young person ‘hosts’ the account, to tell their story and show their day-to-day life.
“There have been a variety of hosts so far, students at schools with an on-site farm, sixth form students and uni students, young people hoping to get into agriculture and those that are already actively farming.”
Georgie, from Lincolnshire, was the Vice-Captain of the Harper Adams Women's Rugby team during 2016-2017 year and hopes to continue playing whilst on placement.
Hannah Dyke was nominated by Harper Adams thanks to her life-long dedication to farming, support for the diversification of her family’s farming business, efforts to educate the wider public about food and farming, and her dedication to her studies.
Hannah would like to become a farm consultant while also developing the glamping and wedding venue business at the family farm in Wiltshire. Hailing from a farm that had to change its business model following the milk crisis in 2000, Hannah has been supporting the glamping venture since she was 11 years old. Her involvement has ranged from housekeeping, to farm activities and walks, to preparing a successful bid for RDPE Leader funding to develop tree house luxury accommodation.
While the funding bid was her proudest achievement, Hannah is dedicated to the more regular business of on-farm education
“As the majority of guests staying on the farm come from cities and have no farming background, one aspect I pay particular attention to while at home is to explain to them the current challenges farmers face and the importance of the agricultural industry,” she explains.
“Being based on a farm allows me to show the guests different farming systems, introducing them to the world of agriculture and give them a greater understanding of where the food they buy comes from. I believe this is something of great importance, as the industry needs to regain its connection with the consumer as far too many people currently don’t know or care where there food is sourced. Hopefully by giving them an insight into the farm they can make more informative decisions when doing their weekly shop and spread the word amongst their friends, both of which will have a massive positive impact on the industry.”
Hannah, 22, and Georgie, 20, will attend the British Farming Awards in October.