Agriculture students rise to the Challenge to retain title for Hartpury


Agriculture students representing Hartpury College clinched victory in the annual Great Farm Challenge organised by Natural England.

James Thornton, Andrew Rowe and Archie Vipond’s report and presentation to a panel of industry experts earned Hartpury first place for the second year in a row in the South West regional final.

The Great Farm Challenge, for colleges throughout the UK, is an opportunity for the next generation of farmers to present their plans for managing a successful farm, while protecting local water quality.

As part of their winners’ prize, the James, Andrew and Archie won £150 in Amazon vouchers and a year’s membership of RACE.

Hartpury also secured third place through the team of Jessica Vizard, Jenny Francis, Josh Bryan and Alex King, winning them £50 in Amazon vouchers.

James rounded off a highly successful day by winning the competition for best assignment, earning him £50 in Amazon vouchers.

All the students are on the Level Three Extended Diploma in Agriculture course at Hartpury.

Trevor Hicks, Head of Department for Agriculture, said: “We’re extremely proud of our students’ achievements in the Great Farm Challenge and their success is a reflection of their hard work – they deserve immense credit.”

The Great Farm Challenge is regional competition organised by Natural England.

The Hartpury students attended a series of workshops in January to learn about the impact of soil, slurry and pesticides on water courses, followed by a visit to a dairy farm.

The winning students evaluated the farm and wrote a report on how to improve the infrastructure, soil quality, nutrient management in regard to improving water quality, water use and protection of the water environment.

The judging panel for the South West final at Stoneleigh Park comprised representatives from the Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water and Natural England.

Picture: James Thornton and Alex King

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