A student who hopes to shape the future of farming through precision technology has won this year’s Harper Cymry/Royal Welsh Agricultural Society Student of the Year award.

BSc (Hons) Business Management with Marketing student Hannah Burgoyne, from Llanymynech in Mid Wales, received the award this week at a special presentation at the 2023 Royal Welsh Show.

The Student of the Year Award was established in 1999 by the late Bill Ratcliffe, a Harper Adams Fellow and founder of the Harper Cymry alumni association.

Open to final year undergraduates who have lived in Wales for at least the past five years, it  is given to those have contributed to the Harper Cymru student society and the broader Harper Adams student community, who are deemed a promising future ambassador for their University.

The winner receives a cash prize and automatic eligibility for the Future Farmers of Wales programme.

Hannah said: “I am very proud to have won this award, as the Royal Welsh is something that I enjoy and is hosted at a venue that I attend more than once a year, at events such as the Royal Welsh Show, Winter Fair, and YFC competitions.

“I thoroughly enjoy being a part of this community and now I feel much closer to it - I am very proud to have been recognised as the student worthy to have won this award.

“It has given me the confidence to put myself out there and try to achieve more in life, through either different experiences, jobs and potentially other awards.”

Hannah, whose family farm is centred around beef cattle, and also includes a DIY Livery yard, is hoping to combine her award winnings and the principles she has learnt during her time at Harper Adams to new ventures as the business diversifies.

Alongside the existing farm and building businesses operated on site, the farm is also looking to expand to offer a caravan site, making the most of its scenic location.

Hannah added: “By winning this award, it means that I will be able to put the money towards courses through Farming Connect and gain more understanding of areas that are able increase my knowledge and understanding to put into my family businesses at home.

“I also look forward to being a part of Future Farmers of Wales, and meeting new people from similar backgrounds where I can broaden my knowledge and understanding through other people’s experiences.”

Hannah was praised for her win by Royal Welsh Show Chief Executive Aled Rhys Jones, who said: “The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society is proud to support this Award, which recognises the outstanding potential of the next generation.”

Her prize comes at the end of her four years’ study at Harper, which Hannah has praised for both setting her on the path to a new career and for helping her make friends for life.

She added: “Without Harper, I would not have been able to have the opportunity to gain a placement with John Deere UK and Ireland.

“This was an amazing experience where I travelled all around the UK, learnt, and met lots of people - and I’d like to have a career with them in the future.

“After I graduate, I hope to help my family businesses at home, however, I’m looking to have a future in precision agriculture, as this is something that I am really interested in, and to be able to go back to John Deere would be a great achievement.

“Precision agriculture is the future and farmers need to be aware of what’s out there, as this can make a huge difference to farming and help them reduce operating costs and increase profits.

“I believe that farming needs more business approaches and farmers need to understand their businesses more, and I would love to be able to make a difference in this sector by supporting its uptake by farmers.

“Throughout the four years I have been at Harper, it has not only given me a brilliant education and experience, but has allowed me to connect with people from all over the UK and Ireland.

“This is something that I would never have got from any other university and have made friends for life and I look forward to bumping into those that I have met around the UK in the future to come!”