A student from Duchy College has won this year’s Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) Farm Health Management Award and £500 prize money.   

Clara Woodhead, BSc (Hons) agriculture student at Duchy’s Stoke Climsland campus, emerged victorious among numerous entries and was declared the winner at Dairy-Tech 2024. 

The national award tested students’ proactive farm health management and their ability to overcome industry barriers, testing their knowledge of essential components of the Agriculture Act.  

Clara said: “Studying on the undergraduate agriculture course at Duchy College has offered me a great opportunity to develop an in-depth knowledge of agriculture, whilst gaining valuable experience of working in the dairy sector alongside my studies. 

“The research that I carried out for this essay increased my awareness of the importance and consequences of taking a proactive and prevention-focused approach to farm health management. I am delighted and surprised to be this year’s winner.”  

For farm research platform manager of Rural Business School, part of The Cornwall College Group (TCCG), and programme manager, Paul Ward, this achievement “positively reflects the college’s expertise in the field.” 

“The Rural Business School has gained recognition through successful knowledge exchange programmes like ‘Healthy Livestock’ and ‘BVD – Stamp It Out’, engaging farm vets and the livestock sector in the South West,” he said. 

Competition judge, and RABDF trustee, Sarah Tomlinson, praised all entries and said: “Clara was clearly passionate about the importance of proactive health planning on farm and really grasped the value of collaboration, not just within the farm team but with external advisers like the private vet, nutritionists and other paraprofessionals. 

“It was also clear to see that she understood the importance of monitoring data and the impact endemic disease can have on costs and long term financial and environmental sustainability of a business.”