Top performing Suffolk farm students scoop prestigious awards
PUBLISHED: 08:11 19 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:11 19 July 2018
Top-performing farming students have received a clutch of accolades for their achievements at an awards ceremony held in Suffolk.
The three students, based at the Otley campus of Easton and Otley College, were presented with a range of awards at its annual prize day event.
Principal Jane Townsend, praised winners for helping to put the college on the map, saying her aim was to help all students to become the best they can be.
Sandy Ruddock, owner of sauces, marinades and dressings business Scarlett & Mustard, based at Earl Soham, near Framlingham, gave an inspirational speech referencing figures including American basketball player Michael Jordan, Irish poet W B Yeats and South African anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela.
Deputy principal Ray Townsend revealed this year’s big winners, including Tom Davey, Tom Dain and Emily Keeble.
Tom Davey scooped the Agriculture Industries Confederation Book Prize.
“The award showed all my hard work was recognised,” he said.
Tom Dain took home the Suffolk Agricultural Association Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Agriculture.
He will now work the harvest in the UK before heading to New Zealand for three months.
“I chose to come here as I wanted to support my local college. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my three years and I will keep in contact with people (classmates) for years to come,” he said.
Emily Keeble took the James Stamper Agriculture Prize and will now be going to study agriculture at university.
“It’s been a really amazing experience at Otley. It’s really helped my confidence. I was only average at school (in terms of my marks) but I came to college and got distinctions,” she said.
Former chair of governors Robert Black, who attended as a special guest, handed out an award that has been created in his name. The Robert Black Award for Most Improved Student will now become a regular feature of Otley’s annual prize day.
A special agricultural award was handed out to Alex Fearn for his work relating to the support of the college’s herd of Red Poll cattle.
Foundation learner Oliver Campbell was crowned Otley’s student of the year for his achievements during the 2017/18 term.