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Seven Harper alumni named Farmers Weekly Rising Stars

Posted 14 July

"I think it speaks volumes about the quality of graduates from Harper for such a great proportion of the winners to have studied here."

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Seven Harper Adams University alumni are among the winners of the Farmers Weekly Rising Stars competition which were announced today.

Joe and Edward Towers, Harriet Wilson, Kit Franklin, Ed Dale, Richard Bower and Chris Manley were named winners of the competition which aimed to shine a light on some of the ‘most talented of the talented’ young people aged 18 - 35 working in the UK agriculture, food and environmental industries. .

In their article announcing the winners, the Farmers Weekly said: “Our group of 13 winners is diverse and shows what talent we have in the UK food and farming industry.

“Collectively they are working on projects that could change the face of agriculture in terms of policy, public perceptions and farming practice.

“Our aim throughout has been to recognise and promote the talents of the next generation of farmers, agricultural professionals, academics, researchers and others in the food and farming supply chain.”

Kit, 27, agricultural engineering lecturer and researcher for the Hands Free Hectare project, said: “Obviously I’m very flattered when I heard that the head of engineering Parmjit Chima had nominated me and shocked and very happy when I heard I was one of the winners.

“So many people were put forward and I’m very proud to have come out as one of the chosen 13 and to have been recognised by the judges. There was tough competition.

“I think it speaks volumes about the quality of graduates from Harper for such a great proportion of the winners to have studied here.”

What the judges said about all the Harper alumni winners:

Harriet Wilson - BSc (Hons) Agri-food Marketing with Business Studies
“She’s a very proactive individual who has achieved a lot in terms of personal development, but is also putting back into the industry by nurturing other young people.”

Ed Dale - BSc (Hons) Agriculture and Mechanisation
“He’s achieved a lot already and taking a business-minded approach to improving the technical and financial performance of the business he works for.”

Kit Franklin - MEng Agricultural Engineering
“Having a direct influence on the next generations as a lecturer, but also leading the way in developing the farm machinery of the future.”

Chris Manley - BSc (Hons) Agriculture
“A great communicator, with a collaborative approach, who has a clear vision of what need to chance in food and farming to allow the industry to move forward.”

Joe Towers - BSc (Hons) Agri-food Marketing with Business Studies and Ed Towers - BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Animal Science
“They have shown real innovation in their sector, demonstrating that if you think laterally you can find solutions to what look to be insurmountable challenges.”

Richard Bower - BSc (Hons) Agri-food Marketing with Business Studies and PgC Food and Fresh Produce Management
"Takes every opportunity that comes his way – whether that is to develop his own farming skills and business or to lobby on behalf of the next generation of farmers.”

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