Two students have been shortlisted for the Dairy Student of the Year Award, which peers, companies and prospective employers regard for highlighting some of the sectors rising stars.
Matthew McClymont from Myerscough College and Max Mitchell from Harper Adams University were selected from six finalists following a formal interview and panel discussion in front of an industry panel in London last week (9 December).
Students were asked to submit an essay response to a case study prepared by Kite Consulting to reflect real-life farming challenges. They were then asked to give a presentation on how the dairy industry might need to change to meet future challenges.
This year’s judging panel consisted of RABDF vice-chairs Di Wastenage and Robert Craig, Mole Valley Farmers’ James Hague and Chloe Cross from Kite Consulting.
Mr Craig says the competition has become distinguished across the dairy industry due to the high calibre of students entering each year. “The optimism and enthusiasm towards the industry are clear to see from the applicants, and it is encouraging for the sector’s future success.
“All of this year’s finalists were outstanding and had a clear grasp on the future challenges of the sector and what needs to be done to overcome them.
“It was hard to shortlist the final two, but both Matthew and Max put forward some sound ideas on what farms could be doing to improve efficiencies as well working towards net-zero targets. Their presentations were well-considered and showed a clear understanding of the complexities of the industry,” he added.
Chloe Cross from Kite Consulting added: “This year the finalists spoke of the immense opportunities that we can pursue, albeit with challenges on the horizon, we are a strong network and these finalists proved that outright.”
Jack Cordery, CEO of Mole Valley Farmers, says the company is delighted to sponsor the Dairy Student Award again this year.
“It is crucial we encourage, develop and promote high calibre people coming into the industry. We need young people who understand and can work to develop innovative and practical solutions to the technical and management challenges of modern dairy farming.
“This is probably more important than ever, as we need to not only help our farmers in terms of productivity and profitability, but now increasingly with the challenge of sustainability at the forefront of our thinking.”
The winner will be announced at Dairy-Tech 2022 on 2 February at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, where they will receive £750 plus a six-month paid placement with award sponsor Mole Valley Farmers.
Picture caption (left to right) Matthew McClymont, Robert Craig and Max Mitchell