Ceri Davies of Aberystwyth University and Andy Smith of Bridgwater and Taunton College were announced as the 2019 winners of the RABDF Farm Health Management Award.

The winners were unveiled at Dairy-Tech on Wednesday 6 February on the event’s brand new Skills Studio – the one-stop-shop for students and new entrants to the industry.  Miss Davies won the agric university category of the competition with Mr Smith taking home the agric college crown.

Agricultural University winner Ceri Davies (Aberystwyth Uni)
Agricultural College winner Andrew Smith (Bridgwater & Taunton College)

Each received a £500 cash prize from competition sponsor Volac.  The runners-up for the agric university and agric college categories were Becky Thomas and Tom Gerrard respectively.

The competition requires entrants to write a 1,500 word essay on proactive farm health management – a key element of the Defra/industry Animal Health and Welfare Strategy, and the benefits it brings to animal health and welfare and farm business profitability.

The essays were judged by a panel featuring RABDF Council member and Gelli Aur College farm manager, John Owen; veterinary surgeon Oli Hodgkinson, and John Sumner, dairy consultant and award chairman.

Farm manager, judge and RABDF trustee John Owen said: “The submitted essays were of an excellent standard and all candidates displayed knowledge of the common diseases affecting cattle and understanding of the fundamentals of proactive health management – something that is vital for the future success of the industry.”

David Neville, managing director of animal nutrition at award sponsor, Volac said: “We are pleased to support agricultural and veterinary students in this award which brings a focus to the importance of taking a holistic approach to best practice in livestock management. We believe that their heightened awareness towards a proactive approach to farm health management covering all aspects, from housing and nutrition to financial impact, will be of huge benefit in their future careers.”