Harper Adams Student wins the RASE National Agricultural Student Speaker of the Year award.

The Royal Agricultural Society of England is delighted to announce the winner of the National Agricultural Student Speaker of the Year Award is Philippa Gray from Harper Adams University.

Finalists from the Royal Agricultural University, Newcastle University and Harper Adams University contributed to a hugely interesting & informative day of speeches. The inaugural competition aims to engage current agricultural students on the issues of the day and to promote the thinking of our next generation of agriculturalists to the sector.

Philippa’s presentation “21st Century: The dawn of the wool age?” impressed the judges with the relevance and diversity of content. As a shepherdess in her final year of a BSc Hons Agriculture with Animal Science it was clear that Philippa knows the sheep & wool industry inside and out. Her diverse but well-structured presentation covered issues including environmental impact, animal welfare, public perception of the industry and why we should be promoting the use of wool. She answered questions from the judging panel eloquently and factually whilst also including relevant personal experience.

Unfortunately, there could only be one winner, though all the finalists gave speeches worthy of merit.

Gordon Lamb from Newcastle University interacted well with the audience and made them at ease with his engaging personality. His speech “The Most Important Skill Farmers Need” was an extremely well-structured presentation on the importance of good communication in a farm business.

Charlotte Pritchard from Royal Agricultural University gave an impassioned presentation on “Talent” and diversity in the agricultural industry and how there is a need to broaden society’s perception of farming.

Sophie Thornton from Harper Adams University gave the presentation “Blockchain: Can it change the future of farming?”. Sophie’s passion for the topic really came across and she managed to explain the complexities of Blockchain in an engaging and interesting manor that captivated the audience.

Annabel Coke from Newcastle University gave the presentation “The Mouse That Roared” which discussed how consumer voices are influencing the agricultural sector. She delivered her speech in a relaxed way that enabled her engaging character to shine through.

We would like to thank the Judging panel: Martha Hayes, Anna Jones and Nick Tapp for their constructive feedback which we had the privilege of hearing. We would further like to thank the Clive & Sylvia Richards Charity and the Iliffe Family Charitable Trust for their generous support of the Award. We are also very grateful to the Royal Agricultural University for kindly hosting us.

We are delighted to have successfully launched the National Agricultural Student Speaker Award and look forward to building upon the success of the inaugural 2019 Sessions.


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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.