Posted 10 September 2002AN OPEN MIND and a willingness to learn are just two of the hallmarks of this year's NatWest HND Industrial Placement Award winner.
Michael Hardstaff, 23, from Linby, in Nottinghamshire, was named winner of the 2001/2002 NatWest HND Industrial Placement Award, for outstanding performance during the sandwich year, last month.
Mr Hardstaff was studying for an HND in Agriculture at Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, when he went out on placement and worked for Peterborough-based potato packers and processors Russell Burgess.
Russell Burgess' are one of the UK's main players in the potato industry and Mr Hardstaff was able to use his experience and knowledge of agriculture to draw up guidelines for growers to help them maintain the quality standards demanded by their customers.
Judges said they were very impressed with Mr Hardstaff's open mind and his willingness to learn about things that could be useful to take back to his family farm.
The clear and positive attitude towards the future of the industry, which he demonstrated while on placement, is further illustrated by his intention to return to Harper Adams and complete a Degree.
Mr Hardstaff emerged as the NatWest Award winner from a shortlist of 10 finalists. They were interviewed by a panel of judges comprising Mr Robert Nelson, NatWest Bank Agricultural Manager for Market Drayton, Mr Bob Slater, Manager of Somerford Home Farm, Staffordshire, and Professor Wynne Jones, Principal of Harper Adams University College.
Harper Adams gratefully acknowledges the generous sponsorship of NatWest Bank, who provide prizes for the first three contestants each year.
Picture Caption: (L-R) Runners-up James White and Julie McCann look on as Michael Hardstaff receives the 2001/2002 NatWest HND Industrial Placement Award from Martin Doyle, NatWest Area Business Manager.
Notes to Editors: Harper Adams University College is the UK's largest specialist provider of Higher Education for the land and food-based industries with a student body of more then 1,750.