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    Students and alumni among National Arable and Grassland awards 2023 finalists

    Posted 7 February 2023

    A farm under a blue sky

    Harper Adams students and alumni are among the finalists in this year’s National Arable and Grassland awards – which are to be held in London tomorrow.

    The University is represented in the Young Farmer of the Year category, with both BSc (Hons) Agriculture graduate Charlie Cheyney and BSc (Hons) Agri-Food Marketing with Business graduate Emily McGowan shortlisted.

    Charlie helps run his family farm in the South Downs, working alongside his father as a mixed dairy and arable farmer – with the aim to ‘replace more than we take out’ and sustain the quality of their land.

    Meanwhile Emily, from County Down, is also maintain a family tradition – being the sixth generation of her family to work on her sheep farm. As well as the farms’ work supplying supermarkets, Emily has also helped develop a farm shop – something which she credits her placement year at Harper Adams as giving her the confidence and knowledge to take forward.

    In the Young Agronomist of the Year category, Harper Adams Masters graduate Alice Andrews – who currently works for Ceres Rural in Saffron Walden – is in the running. Alice’s work with her clients is helping them to develop more regenerative practices and integrate them into their farming systems.

    In the Sustainable Farming award, J&J Beary Farming Limited are among the finalists, with the shortlisting following more than ten years after Harper alumnus Jim Beary won the New Entrant – Against the Odds award at the British Farming Awards in 2014.

    And in the Oilseed Grower of the Year category, FC Cummins and Sons are shortlisted – with the business, run by Dan Willis, getting support from his stepdaughter Eleanor when she’s not either at Harper Adams, where she is a current  BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Crop Management student, or on placement. The awards shortlisting follows a successful 2022 for Eleanor – who was named Countryfile Young Countryside Champion 2022 at the BBC Food and Farming Awards in November.

    The finalists discover who’s won tomorrow evening, February 8, at the awards in the Hilton London Bankside hotel.

    Head of the Agriculture and Environment department at Harper Adams, Dr Andy Wilcox, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many of our students and alumni shortlisted in these awards – we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for each of them tomorrow!”

    Update, February 9: Congratulations to winners Emily, Alice and Eleanor - see more here.

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