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SRUC's Andrew Taylor

RABDF De Lacy Dairy Student of the Year 2014

Andrew Taylor, a second year student studying BSc (Hons) Agriculture at SRUC Ayr is the RABDF De Lacy Dairy Student of the Year. He was presented with a £1,000 cash prize by De Lacy Executive and SRUC, the university he represented received £500 towards a dairying educational project.

Each of the short listed three finalists was presented with £100: Oliver Barraclough, Bradford studying BSc Agricultural Resource Management at Bishop Burton College; Kirsty Errington, Cockermouth, BSc Hons Agriculture with Animal Science at Harper Adams University and Sally Hall, Huddersfield BSc Hons Agriculture with Animal Production Science at the University of Newcastle.

The preliminary round of interviews for the RABDF De Lacy Dairy Student of the Year Award took place last month at Reaseheath College of Agriculture, where a panel of judges questioned the 14 entrants - each from different universities and colleges, on a case study provided to them before the interview. Seven semi-finalists were selected for the second round held at DairyUK where they gave a presentation on 'The British Dairy Industry - where are we now, and what challenges will we face in the next 10 years?' Four finalists were chosen for a final interview and formal presentation on a subject of their own choice in London on 28 March.

Andrew Taylor hails from Mauchline, Ayrshire where his father, Alistair and grandfather, Jim farm a 70 cow flying dairy herd, a 40 cow suckler herd and finish annually 150 head of dairy and beef cattle. Andrew is currently developing his own closed Holstein herd. He said: "I am absolutely ecstatic and honoured to receive this award. It has provided me with great self-recognition which will help to open doors when I eventually graduate. I am particularly keen to gain experience travelling and working with herds in Canada and the US, as well as in the UK before I eventually return home to progress and expand the family herd."

"Entering the award had also been great to meet and share with other likeminded finalists," he said, adding: "I have real confidence that the dairy industry has a great future. Milk and dairy products are highly nutritious and are in growing demand from an expanding global population."

De Lacy Executive's graduate recruitment consultant, Grace Nugent said: "The contestants throughout have been excellent and we congratulate them all, in particular the overall winner, Andrew Taylor, as fine examples of what the younger generation has to offer throughout the country. The older generation can move aside in complete confidence that the industry is in very good hands for the challenges and opportunities of the future."

RABDF chief executive, Nick Everington said: "Rewarding success and achievement, and promoting career opportunities in the dairy sector are key activities for our association. This particular award helps to identify some of the most intelligent and highly motivated young producers who we are confident will help to secure the future for British dairy farming."

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