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Dairy Student of the Year Award and Farm Health Management Award 2022 secured by Harper Adams pair

Posted 13 April

Max Mitchell, RABDF Dairy Student of the Year 22 at work in a dairy

Harper Adams University students have secured two of the UK Dairy Industry’s leading awards at this year’s Dairy-Tech showcase.

BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Farm Business Management student Max Mitchell, from Shrewsbury, was named winner of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) Dairy Student of the Year Award at the event.

Meanwhile BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Animal Science student Marley Lamerton, from near Truro in Cornwall, secured the Farm Health Management Award for a student from an Agricultural University for her essay on proactive farm health management.

After winning the award Max, whose Dairy Student of the Year win is the seventh by a Harper Adams student in the past eight years, said: “I was elated!

“It was such a surreal moment, especially surrounded by family and colleagues, who have witnessed this journey of growth over the years in not only a technical sense, but a personal one too. 

“I now hope to utilise the award as a platform to facilitate knowledge exchange and continue to improve technically.  The sector needs to be adaptable to whatever the world throws at it but work in harmony with that world as well. Overall, my vision is to make a positive, long-lasting impact within the dairy sector.”

Max was presented with a cheque for £750 and a trophy. He also won a six-month paid placement with award sponsor Mole Valley Farmers, with Mole Valley Farmers' James Hague, Chloe Cross from Kite Consulting, and RABDF vice-chairs Di Wastenage and Robert Craig judging the award.

Mr Craig added: "The competition produced a very high calibre of entries making for a difficult final choice. Max Mitchell from Harper Adams displayed an excellent understanding of the UK and the wider global dairy industry.

“He was very well prepared for his presentation in the final, where he confidently demonstrated his knowledge, answering the judges' questions clearly with well-researched reasoning and observations.”

Meanwhile judges were also impressed with Marley’s prize-winning work, the second year in succession that a Harper Adams student had won in the category. To win, Marley had to write a 1500 word essay, based on the remit of a how a proactive approach to health management brings benefit to both animal health and welfare and farm business profitability.

She took home a £500 cash prize for her winning entry – and added: “Honestly, I was shocked to have won but really honoured as well - even just to be short-listed was great but to win was something else! 

“For my essay, I had to identify barriers to proactive health planning, consider the financial impact disease can have and how good nutrition can be beneficial to animal health - as well as providing an example that has been proactive and beneficial for livestock, with this I chose to write about BVD free England.”

And competition judge, RABDF Council Member and Gelli Aur College Farm Manager, John Owen, added: "Marley Lamerton was a worthy winner, understood the topic, and appreciated the industry's challenges."

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