Ellen Smith, studying at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies was crowned winner of the RABDF Farm Health Management Award.
Along with a fellow veterinary student from the University of Newcastle, Ellen was presented the award at the Gold Cup Open Day, Dorset, on Wednesday 28 June. Fellow Dick Vet student Olivia Dower Tylee was a close runner-up.
Now in its tenth year, this annual Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers competition was open to agriculture and veterinary students from any course year including postgraduate students. It required applicants to write a 1,500 word essay on proactive farm health management - a key element of the Defra/industry Animal Health and Welfare Strategy, and the benefits it brings to animal health and welfare and farm business profitability.
Students had to demonstrate an understanding of disease costs and good nutrition, the environmental effects of disease, the importance of collaboration between farm staff, vets and other advisors and key differences among the various livestock sectors.
The essays were judged by a panel featuring RABDF Council member and Gelli Aur College farm manager, John Owen; veterinary surgeon Oli Hodgkinson, and John Sumner, dairy consultant and award chairman.
The standard of entries this year had risen again and it’s clear that both sets of students have grasped the importance and consequences of taking a proactive approach to health management. Ellen was a clear winner in the veterinary group with a well-researched and structured essay.
We are pleased to support agricultural and veterinary students in this award which brings a focus to the importance of taking a holistic approach to best practice in livestock management. We believe that their heightened awareness towards a proactive approach to farm health management covering all aspects, from housing and nutrition to financial impact, will be of huge benefit in their future careers.