Student Success in Farms Competition

Students at Newton Rigg College in Cumbria are celebrating after winning a prestigious farming and environmental competition.

Newton Rigg is part of Askham Bryan College which specialises in providing land-based further and higher education.

Great Farm Challenge Soils Demo

Great Farm Challenge Soils Demo

The overall winners of the The Great Farm Challenge 2019 in the North West were Holly Potter, Ellie Stamper and Ellie Colling after a close run contest.

Organised by Natural England in partnership with The Environment Agency, Defra and United Utilities, five teams of students worked on projects to assess and address the impact of different farm practices on the natural environment and farm business. Their projects were developed into plans and presented to a panel of judges with representatives from the Environment Agency, United Utilities and Eden Rivers Trust.

The Newton Rigg College students impressed the judges with their plans for managing a successful farm by focussing on minimising run-off from pesticides, nutrients and suspended solids such as sediment and algae which can be problematic for aquatic life, whilst also looking at ways to improve air quality and using water wisely.

Andy Dyer, Senior Farming and Conservation Officer with Eden Rivers Trust, said:
“The students all acquitted themselves well, with the winning team demonstrating the greatest depth of knowledge and understanding of the subjects covered.

“We are very happy to be involved with this extremely worthwhile event. The knowledge and experience gained by the students coupled with the opportunity to work with and discuss issues with key government agencies and the North West’s water supplier is something that will stand them in good stead as they go forward in their chosen careers.”

The Great Farm Challenge is a joint partnership, led by Natural England, Defra, Environment Agency and regional water companies Severn Trent, Anglian Water and United Utilities. As a collective, the partnership continues to nurture the next generation of farmers and encourage strategic solutions for them to carry throughout their careers.

This year marks the 8th Great Farm Challenge. Since its inception, Natural England says that over 1,170 students and land managers have got involved in improving water and air quality through best farming practice.

Newton Rigg became part of Yorkshire-based Askham Bryan College in July 2011. A £3m investment plan, was announced in November 2012, which has transformed the campus by updating existing buildings and providing state of the art facilities. These include:

- June 2017 a national sheep husbandry centre at the College's hill farm

- 2015 an equestrian centre which includes a large seated gallery

- 2014 the farm's dairy unit and new agriculture centre, The Frank Parkinson Building, were officially opened.

Newton Rigg is the oldest college providing land-based education in the country. It first opened its doors to students in 1896.


Newton Rigg College

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