Former Hartpury College agriculture student Jacob Anthony has been crowned a national farming champion.
Jacob, who studied a three-year Extended Diploma in Agriculture at Hartpury, has been named the 2018 Young Farmer of the Year in the prestigious Farmers Weekly Awards.
“I’m absolutely chuffed to bits,” said Jacob, a fifth-generation farmer who was brought up on a mixed hill farm and has taken on the responsibility of running 1,000 breeding ewes.
“I was just happy to get nominated in the first place, let alone get through to the final three and win the whole thing. I’m still on cloud nine!
“It means a lot to me and it means a lot to the family.”
He said the Extended Diploma in Agriculture and the extensive facilities at Hartpury, which include a commercially-run farm and a modern milking parlour, had provided him with important on-the-job experience.
Hartpury, which has strong industry links, is also one of only a few colleges in the UK that offer this qualification with a work placement for its students.
“The course was very good,” said Jacob, who has represented British farming and the next generation at a high level through NFU Cymru and the National Sheep Association.
“I have got friends all over the country now thanks to Hartpury and it really helped me broaden my agricultural relations across the country.
“I have got a lot to be thankful for from my time at Hartpury – I’ve lots of fond memories of the place.
“The farm duties and working on another farm, through the work placement, was a big thing for me because it meant I was working for someone else and experiencing a different type farming – dairy farming – to what we have at home.
“It allowed me to find out about different ways of working and I was able to bring different aspects of the job back home.”
The awards, now in their 14th year, are judged by an expert panel made up of industry specialists and previous award winners.
Of Jacob, one of the judges said: “Jacob has initiated and sought out opportunities for training and development in both technical and personal skills, employing them on the home farm to excellent effect.
“Jacob’s passion for getting involved in farming politics is outstanding – one to watch out for.”
Picture: Jacob Anthony (courtesy of Richard Stanton)