Easton and Otley College students look back on a year of competition successes
PUBLISHED: 15:13 27 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:27 27 December 2018
Easton and Otley College students have enjoyed a busy year of events both at home and abroad in 2018 – winning some notable accolades.
The youngsters from East Anglia’s main land-based college travelled to county shows and to continental Europe, representing the region and gaining insights into what’s happening on the international farming scene.
In February, two students returned from an international cattle judging competition in Paris, with animal physiology student Laura Marsh from Binham in north Norfolk securing the college’s best-ever finish by claiming fifth place.
It was also the highest place achieved by a competitor from the UK or Ireland in this competition, which included around 100 students from 24 countries.
The college also celebrated a 25-year partnership with an educational institution in the Czech Republic in 2018.
The relationship, which began in the late 1990s has seen hundreds of staff and students take part in educational exchange trips between the Easton campus, outside Norwich, and Benesov College and School of Agriculture, based around 45km from Prague.
Most recently, four students from Benesov spent a month working on farms and in the animal studies department at the UK education centre at Easton.
Charlie Askew, farming lecturer at the college, said: “Ultimately, this 25-year partnership has brought hundreds of positive opportunities for our students. It would be great to think we will be celebrating a 50-year partnership in 2043.”
A college collective was also involved in Agrolympics, a farming-flavoured version of the Olympics, held in Portugal during the summer.
This was the third year in a row that a squad from the college competed in this event. This year, the team comprised Suffolk student Dan Goodwin, based in Bury St Edmunds, and Oliver Tyrell, from Marham in west Norfolk.
There were 18 events, ranging from tractor driving and fencing to hand-milking and hay bale throwing. Although they didn’t win the competition, the college team jointly won the fair play award with Austria.
Closer to home, the college picked up a plethora of farming-related accolades at the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk shows.
“This is the best that the college has done on a farming front for many a year,” said farm manager Tony Buttle.
At the Royal Norfolk Show, students scooped agricultural three first rosettes, a second and two thirds in farming classes. These were received in a mixture of competitions that showcased Norfolk Horn sheep, Red Poll cattle and commercial beef breeds.
The college also scooped the Sir Richard Haddon Challenge Cup, given out to “the educational exhibitor that best demonstrates its facilities”.