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Sam and Ben shortlisted for Farmers Weekly Agricultural Student of the Year Award

Posted 18 July

“Their success in being shortlisted underlines the quality of Harper Adams Agriculture students - and continues the track record of Harper Adams students in these awards.”

A composite picture of Ben Chilman and Sam Allison, both shortlisted for the Farmers Weekly Agricultural Student of the Year Award

Ben Chilman, left, and Sam Allison have both been shortlisted for the Farmers Weekly Agricultural Student of the Year Award.

This year’s Farmers Weekly Agricultural Student of the Year Award competition has seen two of the three finalists named as Harper Adams students.

Sam Allison, a BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Crop Management Top up student, and Ben Chilman, a final year  BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Farm Business Management student, were each shortlisted in the category for this year’s awards – set to be held in London in October.

Both have been praised by Dr Russell Readman, Course Manager for Agriculture at Harper Adams, who underlined how their success was maintaining a strong tradition from Harper students in the awards.

He said: “It is excellent to see two Harper Adams Agrics shortlisted again for this award.”

“Both are excellent students and have contributed in different ways more widely to the University and the wider agricultural community.

“Their success in being shortlisted underlines the quality of Harper Adams Agriculture students - and continues the track record of Harper Adams students in these awards.”

Ben, originally from Presteigne in Powys, was named winner of the Nickerson Cup and The Farmers Club Gold Student Pinnacle Award at a ceremony in London earlier this year.

He not only juggles his studies at Harper Adams with work on his family farm – but also produces a regular podcast.

He said: “I was very pleased and surprised to be shortlisted for the Farmers Weekly award.

“I chose my Agriculture with Farm Business Management degree because I wanted something more challenging than straight BSc Agriculture – and studying at Harper Adams has given me good memories with great people – I’m glad to have made the most of it.”

Sam, originally from Chichester, came to agriculture from a non-farming background – but so impressed his employer that they encouraged him to look into studying the subject at University.

Since beginning his studies at Harper Adams, he has already set up a profitable Pick Your Own business, meeting a growing demand for locally sourced fresh produce produced in a sustainable manner.

He said: “I was surprised and very pleased to be shortlisted. I am passionate about local produce and communities learning about how produce is grown and making it accessible to all.

“Being shortlisted is a means of ‘spreading the word’ about produce with a low carbon footprint, grown and managed with an integrated approach with the use of more natural solutions to fertiliser and pest and disease control.”

Sam chose to study at Harper Adams to extend his understanding of crop management – choosing his degree specifically to extend his understanding and opportunities in industry.

He added: “Harper Adams is a university with a wide range of great resources available to students ensuring everyone has the best learning experience whilst studying there.

“Despite lockdown, which clearly impacted on the delivery of my course, I can certainly say that I have really enjoyed my time at the Harper Adams university, coming away with a greater level of knowledge and industry connections which I can take forward in my future career.”

This year’s Farmers Weekly awards – which include the Ag Student of the Year category – will be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London on Thursday, October 6.

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