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Otley: Students reap reward for crop growing efforts

06:00 15 June 2014

The winning team of the 2014 Cereals Challenge Easton & Otley College. From left to right Kyran List, Helen Robinson, Lewis Fyans and Owen Smith

The winning team of the 2014 Cereals Challenge Easton & Otley College. From left to right Kyran List, Helen Robinson, Lewis Fyans and Owen Smith

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Students from Easton and Otley College have won a national crop growing agricultural competition.

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The farming learners based in both Suffolk and Norfolk took part in an event called The Cereals Challenge.

The win saw the team pick up a trophy and £1000 prize money to share between the team members - plus an additional £500 for the College.

Contestants were given a plot of land in Chrishall Grange farm in Cambridge where they have been growing a crop of Santiago winter wheat.

Students had to deal with real time decisions with the aim of making the most profits on their yields.

They (the students) were judged on two factors – their ability to make input decisions and control costs.

The students qualified to take part in the finals after participating in a series of regional competitive challenges against other college and University teams. They (Easton and Otley) then beat teams from Harper Adams, Newcastle University, Nottingham University and the Royal Agricultural University to win first prize in the national finals.

Dr Tony Wilson, from the agricultural department at the college, said, “The overriding feeling is one of great pride in the work of this team. They showed real precision in their decision making based on the evidence provided. What they have achieved is a great accomplishment that showed a lot of skill and the college and I congratulate the team wholeheartedly.”

23 year old Owen Smith was the team captain for the Easton and Otley College team. He said, “It’s been a fantastic learning experience and we are absolutely delighted to have won.”

“It was a big surprise and we never expected it. We are happy with what we did and the team worked very well together. We reacted to the conditions, and overall we are very happy. It hasn’t sunk in yet that we have won THE biggest student arable farming competition in the UK.”

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