Harper Adams University: Student success celebrated at return of Harper Adams Placement Awards

Student successes while on industry placements have been celebrated at the return of the annual Harper Adams Placement awards.

The awards returned in style with 19 students receiving a range of prizes, including 11 Aspire prizes, the Buccleuch and Agrovista Placement Prizes, and two prizes with new sponsors – the Cogent Placement Award and the Cultura Connect Prize.

The ceremony was the first of its kind since March 2020 – as Master of Ceremonies, Agriculture Placement Manager Terry Pickthall, noted – telling students, industry guests and Harper Adams staff at the awards how special the return of the event was after the changes wrought by Covid and lockdowns.

He added: “You have successfully completed your placements through all of that.

“That, in itself, is a brilliant achievement when you think about what we’ve all had to manage and deal with.

“To do it to the standard and levels of achievement of those of you here today is nothing short of amazing. Never forget that.”

The nominees also heard from Harper Adams University Vice-Chancellor Professor Ken Sloan, who told them: “This is my first Placement Awards ceremony and it is impressive to see how far and wide you have all been over the past year. Covering all aspects of the agriculture, land and agri-food sectors, sharing your talents and developing new skills as well as making progress towards the completion of your degrees.

“I have spoken to many placement hosts since I started in November 2021. They speak of the talent of our students, the eagerness to develop new skills and capabilities, your commitment to the different industries, and your willingness to go the extra mile. They are talking about you: ambassadors of this University and of their industries, for which I am grateful.”

Cultura Connect Prize Winners

Three students were shortlisted for the new Cultura Connect prize, which marked the best performance by a student on a business or food course while on placement. The winner, announced by Alastair Boot, was BSc (Hons) Agri-food Marketing with Business student, Livvy Bennett Jones, for her placement at Aldi. Livvy received the award from Cultura Connect Managing Director and Harper alumnus Hugh Pocock, and Kate Pocock, the company’s Marketing Director.

Agrovista Placement Award

Four BSc Agriculture route students were in the running for the Agrovista Placement Awards – with BSc (Hons) Agriculture student Hannah Scott Cook securing the first prize for her performance at ABN. The prize was announced by Terry Pickthall and presented by Tracey Winson and Shelley Bloom, Agrovista’s Heads of HR – with the event marking Tracey’s last in her current role at Agrovista.

Cogent Breeding Ltd Placement Award

The Cogent award – the second newly-sponsored prize of the event – recognises the best overall performance on placement by an FdSc Agriculture student. Placement Manager for Agriculture, Andy Brooks, announced Tim Davidson as the winner, for his work at Aviagen Ltd. The prize was presented by John Smout, Cogent Breeding Ltd Business Development Manager (North), and Andy Hales, Regional Sales Manager (North).

Buccleuch Prize

The Buccleuch Prize, awarded annually to the top performing Land Management placement student, went to Emily Houghton, BSc (Hons) Rural Enterprise and Land Management, for her performance at Grosvenor Estates. The award was announced and presented by David Jasper, Placement Manager for Land Management.

Aspire Prize

Aspire prizes, for the best achievement in personal Development Planning in each subject suite, went to:

Hadley Thompson, BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing

Emma Wright, BSc (Hons) Veterinary Physiotherapy

Emily Houghton, BSc (Hons) Rural Enterprise and Land Management

Libby Keysell, BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation

Will Owen, BSc (Hons) Food Technology and Product Development

Amy Law, BSc (Hons) Agri-business

Laura Downs, BSc (Hons) Applied Zoology

Hannah McKinstry, BSc (Hons) Animal Health & Welfare

Tim Davidson, FdSc Agriculture with Mechanisation

Manon Lewis, BSc Hons Agriculture with Animal Science

Oliver Baird, BEng (Hons) Agricultural Engineering

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