Harper student scoops RABDF award

Richard Beattie from Ballymoney, County Antrim has been crowned the RABDF’s Dairy Student of the Year 2017.

Mr Beattie who attends Harper Adams University, beat off stiff competition from five other students in what judges described as the tightest ever in the competitions 27-year history.

See also: How to build a resilient dairy business in volatile times

Six finalists were invited to The Farmers Club in Whitehall, and had to give a 15 minute presentation on ‘UK dairy in the next 10 years’, as well as take part in a six-way debate covering a host of dairy-related topics.

Left to right: Andrew Jackson, Mole Valley Farmers, Richard Beattie, Harper Adams University and Mike King, RABDF

Left to right: Andrew Jackson, Mole Valley Farmers, Richard Beattie, Harper Adams University and Mike King, RABDF

“The standard was extremely high, but Richard showed the most promise on the day with innovative ideas and well-rounded arguments,” said RABDF chairman, Mike King.

“His essay was very strong and it’s clear that he has considerable potential.

“In the end, Richard’s comprehensive presentation gave him a small edge in what was a very close competition – there were just two points separating all of the candidates.”

The newly crowned winner said winning the award was the highlight of his time at university.

“The process itself has been really interesting and enjoyable, but of course I’ll look back on this as the cherry on top of the cake.”

Dairy optimism

He added he was very positive about the future of the UK dairy industry.

“The UK is a great place for producing milk, but we really need to increase self-sufficiency and decrease dairy imports.

“We have the best animal welfare in the world which is something we should shout about through events like open farm Sunday.”

Mr Beattie said he would be investing his £1,000 prize money in a cow signals course to enhance his animal monitoring skills.

Ag Careers Live

Farmers Weekly’s Ag Careers Live event on 2 November gives you the opportunity to talk directly to employers, attend seminars, get career advice and find a job.

This national event, held at the Telford International Centre, Shropshire, is aimed at anyone wanting to get a foot on the farming ladder or move to their next job in agriculture.

At Ag Careers Live you can talk directly to employers, find out what recruiters are looking for, what it would be like to work for them, as well as what training and career progression they offer.

Alongside the exhibitors, there is a seminar programme and the Innovation Theatre to help you plan ahead.

You can also get advice in the Career Hub, get tailored support and guidance in the Mentor Corner from one of our agricultural champions and there’s also a CV clinic. If you are looking for a job right now, then the Jobs Wall will list vacancies.

Register and find more details on the Ag Careers Live website.

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