UK (Harper Adams University) New graduate Ben Chilman wins Farmers Weekly Agricultural Student of the Year

Harper Adams University graduate Ben Chilman has been named as this year’s Farmers Weekly Agricultural Student of the Year.

Ben, from near Presteigne in Powys, secured the prize at the annual Farmers Weekly Awards ceremony in London last night.

Having graduated from his BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Farm Business Management degree at the end of September, the award added to an already highly successful final year for Ben, who has already been named winner of the Nickerson Cup and secured the Farmers Club Gold Pinnacle Award for farm business planning earlier this year.

Naming Ben as the winner, Farmers Weekly awards independent judge, Alex Dunn, said: “Ben impressed us with his enthusiasm for British farming and support for rural communities. His podcast shows what an effective communicator he is – which is an increasingly important skill to help promote our industry.”

Ben was further praised by the judges for his initiative, through the EweTurn podcast, to normalise conversations about mental health in farming, and for his successful year on placement with the Co-op – with the company quick to celebrate his success.

Fellow Harper Adams graduate Sam Allison, a BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Crop Management Top up student, was also shortlisted for last night’s prize.

Dr Russell Readman, Course Manager for Agriculture at Harper Adams University, said: “It was excellent to see Harper Adams Agriculture students selected as two of the three finalists for the Farmers Weekly Agriculture Student of the Year Awards.

“Both Ben and Sam were strong contenders and it was great to see Ben Chilman winning the award this year.

“This continues Harper Adams University’s strong track record track in this award and highlights the quality of Harper Adams Agriculture students.”

Both students were also praised by Agriculture Placement Manager, Terry Pickthall, who, alongside Dr Readman, was among the Harper Adams staff in attendance at the celebration.

He said: “Ben and Sam were extremely worthy candidates and did amazingly to reach the final. We are very proud of them both and it was great to be able to share a memorable evening with them. Ben’s commitment to his studies, career and wider interests is an inspiration and we look forward to keeping in touch with him as he makes his next step into the industry.”

Ben says: “Studying at Harper Adams has given me good memories with great people – I’m glad to have made the most of it.”

Speaking of his award on social media, Ben added he was both ‘still in a state of shock’ and ‘very proud to say the least.’