Two students have been shortlisted for the RABDF Dairy Student of the Year Award, sponsored by ForFarmers, which peers, companies and prospective employers regard as highlighting some of the sector’s rising stars.
Teddy Moore from Reading University and Jon Witter from Harper Adams University were selected from six finalists from five different universities and colleges following a formal interview and panel discussion in front of an industry panel in London today (8 December).
Students were asked to submit an essay response to a case study prepared by Kite Consulting to reflect real-life farming challenges. They were then tasked with giving a presentation on ‘The UK dairy industry in 10 years’ time’ and discussing the challenges and opportunities.
This year’s judging panel included RABDF Chairman Robert Craig, Vice Chairman Tim Downes, Alison Ewing, Technical Development Manager, ForFarmers, and Kaia Hillsmith from Kite Consulting.
Mr Craig says the competition has become distinguished across the dairy industry due to the high calibre of students entering each year.
“The optimism and enthusiasm towards the industry are evident to see from the applicants, and it is encouraging for the sector’s future success.
“All of this year’s finalists were outstanding and had a clear grasp on the future challenges of the sector and what needs to be done to overcome them.
“It was hard to shortlist the final two, but Teddy and Jon had well-considered presentations with some great ideas about the opportunities for the sector whilst understanding the industry’s complexities,” he said.
Kaia Hillsmith from Kite Consulting added: “The standard of finalists in this year’s competition has been excellent, with energy, enthusiasm and positivity towards the challenges and opportunities for UK dairy. This suggests a bright future for the UK dairy industry.”
Alison Ewing, Technical Development Manager, ForFarmers, says the company is delighted to sponsor the RABDF Dairy Student Award this year.
“We must encourage, develop and promote high calibre people entering the industry. This is more important than ever as we need to help our farmers in terms of productivity and profitability and increasingly with the challenge of sustainability at the forefront of our thinking.
“The calibre of this year’s students is really promising for our sector; they covered so much content and delivered it well, and I wish them all well,” she said.
The winner will be announced at Dairy-Tech 2024 on 7 February at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, where they will receive a cheque for £750.
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