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Duchy College team swoops Farmplanner of the Year finalist award

A team of three agricultural students from Duchy College at Stoke Climsland have swooped runner up awards in the final of the Farmplanner of the Year competition held at the Royal Show last week.

The group were presented with a commemorative goblet by Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in an awards ceremony held at the show.

The Duchy College team consisted of sister and brother duo, Liz and David Christophers, from Trenerry Farm, St Allen near Truro and Richard Mann from Doscreege near Penzance. Duchy College lecturer Roger Trewhella persuaded them to enter the competition in mid February and acted as their mentor throughout the duration of the competition.

They had to produce a strategic plan for a real life case study based on one of the largest and best-managed dairy businesses in the south of England. Their objective was to increase the wealth of the partners and their families and illustrate a sustained satisfactory return on the capital invested in the business.
The Duchy College team together with two other teams from Writtle Agricultural College in Essex and Newcastle University were selected as finalists. The final consisted of a presentation to a team of judges representing; the farm used for the case study, RABDS, HSBC and competition organisers the Chartered Institute of Agricultural Managers at the Royal Show, Stoneleigh.

"We had to produce a business appraisal and analyse the farm's ability to meet future business challenges. Visiting the farm was a brilliant experience and we thought it would have been worthwhile just entering the competition for that alone. Then we had to battle with deadlines to complete the competition entry, whilst both Richard and I were sitting finals for our foundation degree in agriculture and rural business," explained 22 year old Liz Christophers.

"As it was the first year that Duchy College had entered a team. I think we were considered rank outsiders but we all have a strong dairy background and transferring new ideas to another dairy unit was very exciting – I think we definitely proved Duchy College are a force to be reckoned with."

The first ever Duchy College sister and brother team to enter the competition, their participation in the final was made possible by funding from Rural Progress, an Objective One skills and idea development programme for individuals and businesses operating in the farming or land based sector.

Duchy College lecturer Roger Trewhella said: "The team did so well, they very narrowly missed out on the first prize. They worked very hard and really applied themselves to the challenge; they really were a credit to themselves and Duchy College."

The team celebrating from their success now have to focus on new challenges ahead. Richard is planning on studying towards a degree at Seale Hayne in September, Liz is starting a new job lecturing at Duchy College, whilst 19 year old David will be spending his sandwich year working with the family farms 100 pedigree Ayrshire's dairy cows.


Editor's notes:

Liz and David Christophers
Tel: 01872 540400

Rural Progress

Rural progress is an industry led partnership funded by Defra and the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund for the benefit of land-based businesses in the Objective One area fund scheme Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Rural Progress aims to facilitate the implementation of new technology and provide new skills to land based businesses, individuals, groups and organisations. These beneficiaries need to be located within the Objective One area and be associated with farming, horticulture, forestry or supply services to these businesses.

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Duchy College
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