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Work Placement Awards 2004/5

Posted 2 June 2005

Five Harper Adams University College students have been honoured for their outstanding performance whilst on work placement with top businesses. Each has been awarded one of the college’s coveted annual Placement Awards 2004/5.

Liz Lacey studying BSc Agriculture and Haydn Davies studying BSc Agriculture with Environmental Management at the Shropshire college, were jointly awarded the Andrew Lewis Trophy in recognition of outstanding performance whilst on placement. On placement Liz, from Marlow, Buckinghamshire, worked for the Food Animal Initiative, a farming business based in Oxford that is actively involved in developing sustainable farming systems with particular emphasis on animal welfare, environmental care and food safety. Haydn, from Llanymynach, Powys, worked for a large local agricultural supply business, Wynnstay Group based at Llannsantfraid.

The Andrew Lewis trophy is made in memory of Andrew Lewis, a former student at Harper Adams. The award was presented at a luncheon on May 16 by Sheila Lewis, the benefactor of the trophy, which was first awarded in 1984.

Dr Russell Readman, Agriculture Placement Manager at Harper Adams, said: “Both students were highly commended by their employers. Liz was responsible for the day to day management of the experimental layer & broiler flocks at Food Animal Initiative; in her role Liz demonstrated initiative, willingness to accept responsibility & a high level of attention to detail. Haydn implemented a new computer system for both retail & product lines & recommendations from his project to establish the continued viability of a product line were implemented by the company. ”

NatWest Bank Awards were also presented to three HND Agriculture students considered to have achieved the best overall performance on work placement.

The overall winner was Tim Perrett, who is studying HND Agriculture. Tim, from Sherborne Dorset, undertook his placement with David Thornley, St Weonards, Herefordshire on an organic dairy farm. Previous work experience included work in the family contracting business, and a harvest position on a large arable farm.

The panel of judges were particularly impressed with the level of technical knowledge and practical skills with regard to livestock & grassland developed by Tim during his placement, particularly in view of his limited prior experience in the sector. They also praised David Thornley as a long standing placement employer for his contribution to the development of Harper Adams students.

Following completion of his HND studies, Tim intends to top-up to BSc Agriculture with Agricultural Marketing at Harper Adams.

Second place was awarded to Rhys James, from Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. Peter, who is studying HND Agriculture, undertook his placement on a dairy farm in New Zealand.

Before starting the HND at Harper Adams, Rhys completed an NDA at Gelli Aer College, Carmarthen. Previous work experience includes a placement on a large dairy/arable farm as part of his NDA and work on the home farm, a large dairy business based on the New Zealand system.

Following completion of his HND studies, Rhys intends to top-up to BSc Agriculture with Animal Science at Harper Adams.

Tom Edmondson, studying HND Agriculture with Land & Farm Management, was awarded third place. Tom, from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire undertook his placement with EC Drummond & Son, Hereford, a large soft fruit business. Previous work experience included work on the home farm, contracting work & harvest work. Following completion of his HND studies Tom intends to return to the home farm.

Prizes of £200, £100 and £50 were awarded for first, second and third place respectively. The awards were presented by Mr Martin Doyle, NatWest Regional Agricultural Manager, at a luncheon on May 16.

The college is grateful to NatWest Bank for their very generous sponsorship of prizes for this award.

The college is seeking to strengthen its winning placement formula by offering more businesses the chance to benefit from employing a placement student. Dr Russell Readman, Agriculture Placement Manager at Harper Adams, said: “The college offer courses incorporating a range of placements including Agriculture, Animal Health, Marketing, Business, Rural Estate & Land Management, and Countryside & Tourism. Due to growth in student numbers the college requires further placements across all areas commencing July 2006. A placement student can benefit your business in a number of ways. They often bring new ideas and fresh enthusiasm and an up to date knowledge of latest industry developments, new technology and I.T skills. Many of our long-term employers have reported that students use their knowledge and skills to tackle projects put on the backburner, and are also a cost effective additional staff resource. In addition, industry often benefits from the latest research being carried out at the college.”

He added: “Feedback I have received from employers has proven that Harper Adams students are highly sought after in the graduate market, and this has been backed up by the league tables recently published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency. They stand out as good team workers who can think for themselves and get on with the job, focus on business issues and solutions and resolve business problems effectively. Many employers are so impressed with their placement students that they offer them permanent employment after they have graduated.”

If you are interested in offering a placement in any of the above areas please contact Kathy Smith (Placement Administrator) on 01952 815409.

Ends

Note to Editors

NatWest Bank Awards: The top three students were selected on the basis of their performance in an interview before a panel of three judges – Mr Robert Nelson, local NatWest Agricultural Manager, Mr Bob Slater a past placement employer and current Farm Conservation Adviser with FWAG, and Professor Wynne Jones, Principal at Harper Adams University. The interview is very broad and encompasses experience on placement, technical knowledge and awareness of current agricultural issues.


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