Louise Elliot, a student studying at Harper Adams University College has received the RABDF Farm Health Planning Award sponsored by Metacam for Cattle, an awareness raising initiative for younger members of the industry.

At a presentation at the Dairy Event and Livestock Show today, Thursday 18 September, Ms Elliot was awarded £500 cash prize and the college she represented received £500 towards a farm health planning project.

A £100 cash prize and certificate was also presented to each of the three other finalists short listed for the award; Jessica Collins, Duchy College; Rebecca Eaglen, Writtle, College; and Rob Nightingale, University of Reading.

Open to students studying at agricultural colleges in England, the entrants were required to prepare a 1500 word essay demonstrating their understanding of proactive farm health planning ion beef and dairy units.

John Summer, FHP coordinator and project manager of the Dairy Event and Livestock Show said the candidates were not short of ideas for improving the uptake of proactive health planning.

“However, Louise had the winning edge with an essay which was well researched, it differentiated between the writing of health plans and proactive health planning, demonstrated an understanding of the reasons why farmers are reluctant to adopt a positive approach and the potential benefits of doing so.”

Ms Elliot who is studying Rural Enterprise and Land Management applied for the competition because she thought it was important to get young peoples views across. “I found writing the essay challenging, but interesting,” she said. “I am positive for the dairy industry as those left in it are strong, and with higher milk prices, things are on the up.” Ms Elliot is from a dairy farm in Stratford upon Avon.