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NFU President and Yorkshire Vet to receive honorary degrees

Posted 24 July

"We are thrilled to announce the award of honorary degrees to two people who have contributed so much in their respective professions. The worlds of agriculture and veterinary practice go hand in hand, so we hope that these awards will recognise the contribution that both make to food production, the management of our countryside, the health of our animals, and ultimately to the prosperity of the UK’s rural economy" - Vice Chancellor, Dr David Llewellyn

Peter Wright and Minette Batters are to receive honorary degrees in September

Peter Wright and Minette Batters are to receive honorary degrees in September

Honorary degrees are to be presented to the President of the NFU and to a well-known ‘Yorkshire Vet’ at the 2018 Harper Adams University graduation day in September.

NFU President, Minette Batters, will accept an award in recognition of her significant contribution to agriculture and to the work of the National Farmers’ Union. TV favourite, Peter Wright, The Yorkshire Vet, will receive his award in recognition of his role in raising the public profile of the veterinary profession.

Harper Adams University and Keele University recently confirmed plans to establish a new joint Veterinary School, due to take its first cohort of students in 2020. Recognising the contribution of such leading agricultural and veterinary figures highlights Harper Adams’ commitment to the agri-food sector and to veterinary practice, especially with respect to its links with farming.

Minette will be the guest speaker at the afternoon graduation ceremony – where her audience will comprise graduates from agriculture, business, agri-food and land management undergraduate degree programmes, as well as a range of Masters and PhD graduates. Peter will be speaking to graduates from Animals, Countryside, Environment and Wildlife, Engineering, Food, Veterinary Nursing and Veterinary Physiotherapy courses.

Minette Batters was recently elected as the first female President of the National Farmers’ Union. She quickly set out her vision to work with Government to put British Farming ‘on the global map’, by enhancing the natural environment and improving soil health; protecting the nation’s iconic countryside; feeding every part of Britain with safe, high quality and affordable food; driving productivity and innovation; and championing British Farming at home and overseas. She is a tireless contributor to the debate on the future of farming following the UK’s departure from the EU.

The Yorkshire Vet television programme follows the work of the partners of Thirsk’s Skeldale Veterinary Practice which was where the late Alf Wight (better known as James Herriot) worked. Peter Wright worked with Alf Wight in the 1980s and has continued the legacy of raising the profile of veterinary work within the rural and farming community.

Dr David Llewellyn, Vice Chancellor of Harper Adams University, added: “We are thrilled to announce the award of honorary degrees to two people who have contributed so much in their respective professions. The worlds of agriculture and veterinary practice go hand in hand, so we hope that these awards will recognise the contribution that both make to food production, the management of our countryside, the health of our animals, and ultimately to the prosperity of the UK’s rural economy. I am sure our students will look forward to hearing more from our honoured guests in September.”

Minette Batters, NFU President

Minette runs a tenanted family farm in Wiltshire. The mixed farming business includes a 100 cow continental cross suckler herd, and a small herd of pedigree Herefords as well as sheep and arable. Diversification includes the conversion of a 17th Century tythe barn into a wedding and corporate events venue, and horse liveries. Minette co-founded the campaigning initiatives 'Ladies in Beef' and the 'Great British Beef Week'.
She has been an NFU member from grassroots through to County Chairman; she served as Wiltshire’s Council delegate and also as Regional Board Chairman for the South West. Minette has also been a member of NFU Governance Board and served as NFU Deputy President for four years from 2014 to 2018. Minette is also a Trustee of Farm Africa.

Peter Wright, BVSc, MRCVS

Peter qualified as a Veterinary Surgeon from the University of Liverpool in 1981 and following a brief period in Bedfordshire returned over 35 years ago to his native Thirsk in rural North Yorkshire.
He worked for Alf Wight and Donald Sinclair, immortalised throughout the world as; James Herriot and Siegfried Farnon in the Herriot books and the television series All Creatures Great and Small.
Peter has been instrumental in modernising the practice, moving to purpose built premises at Skeldale in 1995 which for the last three years has featured in Channel 5's 'The Yorkshire Vet'.
Peter enjoys all aspects of mixed veterinary practice and being out and about around the farms in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside.
When not working, he plays Badminton and Bridge, enjoys gardening, takes part in tractor rallies and spending time with his family.

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