Former National Farmers Union (NFU) president Meurig Raymond, chief executive of Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF) Caroline Drummond and business consultant Christine Cross have been awarded Honorary Fellowships by the Royal Agricultural University (RAU).
The RAU paid tribute to the careers and impact of these leaders at its graduation ceremonies in Cirencester Parish Church on Thursday 19 July 2018. Each year, alongside presenting students’ degrees, the University awards Honorary Fellowships to those who have made significant contributions to agriculture and the related land-based industries.
Meurig Raymond retired as NFU President in February after undertaking various roles there for nearly 40 years. At the European Commission’s High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Supply Chain, Meurig represented European farmers and worked to improve their position in the food chain.
As chief executive of LEAF since it began in 1991, Caroline Drummond is a passionate advocate of greater public understanding of farming and of encouraging sustainable farming practices.
Christine Cross held senior roles at Tesco, including business development director, and is now an independent adviser working across retail, manufacturing and education. Christine is a judge for the University’s annual Grand Idea competition, which invites student entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to a panel also including Levi Roots, of Reggae Reggae Sauce, Julian Dunkerton of Superdry clothing and Charlie Beldam of Cotswold Gold rapeseed oil.
Students were awarded degrees and diplomas from the RAU in three services – Ceremony for Real Estate, Rural Land Management, and Environment; Ceremony for Business and Entrepreneurship, Equine Management and Science, and Food Supply and Management; and Ceremony for Agriculture. They then took time out for photographs with friends and family in the Market Place.
Professor Joanna Price, Vice-Chancellor of the RAU said: “Graduation is a celebration of our students’ hard work, commitment and success over many years. I congratulate each and every one of them, as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary careers and impact of our Honorary Fellows.
“Meurig, Caroline and Christine have had a lasting influence on their fields and they’ve shown how food production, agriculture and the land-based industries successfully combine with entrepreneurialism, enterprise and policy leadership. Their achievements will inspire our students for years to come because RAU graduates in 2018 are global citizens who are ready to contribute to society in a myriad of ways. With knowledge of their subjects, readiness to embrace the world of work and a willingness to adapt to change, these students will follow in the footsteps of our Fellows to be leaders and innovators.
“We wish them all the best in their future careers and as the newest members of the RAU’s worldwide alumni community.”
During the ceremony, two special awards were presented to staff from the Royal Agricultural University. The James Buckman Presentation Cup was awarded to Andrew Davis, Senior Lecturer in Heritage Property, Game and Deer Management in recognition of excellence in education. The Professor W. Paul Davies Award was presented to Katherine Duke, Head of Enterprise for developing student potential.