A STUDENT from Cornwall has come out top in this year's Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) Farm Health Management Awards. 

The awards, sponsored by Volac, were presented at Dairy-Tech (Wednesday, February 7) by Sarah Banks, Volac's Head of Marketing and Sustainability, Animal Nutrition.

They aim to demonstrate an understanding, and test students’ knowledge of, proactive farm health management. The competition is split into three categories: students at agricultural colleges, agricultural universities and vet schools.

Rebecca Langford from the University of Surrey, Molly Mead from Harper Adams University and Clara Woodhead from Duchy College were announced as the winners for this year’s awards.

The runners-up were Charnia Rogers from the University of Surrey, Sam Ward from Harper Adams University and Katie Kirkwood from Myerscough College. 

The awards were judged by RABDF policy director Tim Brigstocke and RABDF trustee Sarah Tomlinson. Each category winner took home a £500 cash prize.

Sarah said: “All of the entries were clearly passionate about the importance of proactive health planning on farm, many mentioning the government support available for farmers, including the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway, the grant schemes and the Medicine Hub.

“The winners stood out as they really grasped the value of collaboration, not just within the farm team, but with external advisers like the private vet, nutritionists and other paraprofessionals.

"It was also clear to see they understood the importance of monitoring data and the impact endemic disease can have on costs and long term financial and environmental sustainability of a business.”

Each candidate submitted a 1,500 word essay on proactive farm health management and explained how they thought it was integral in delivering health and welfare improvements on farm.

Dairy-Tech was organised by RABDF and included a variety of speakers, as well as more than 80 new products, showcased at Stoneleigh Park. 

RABDF managing director, Matt Knight, said the show was 'the most successful yet'. 

“It’s amazing to see Dairy-Tech growing each year, the content across all aspects of the event this year were second to none, with top quality exhibitors, speakers and products," he added. 

“With uncertainty still ongoing within the sector it’s imperative we are able to provide a platform, through Dairy-Tech, to help equip farmers and businesses with as much insight and knowledge as possible to aid their success and profitability.”