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HARPER ADAMS: Harper Cymru at RWAS

Harper Cymru RWAS Awards
The summer weather may have hindered many of the society members’ summer work efforts, it hasn’t stopped a few of them succeeding in other aspects within the agricultural sector. With the show season in full swing and an abundance of hangovers, I spoke to two of the members who collected awards at this years Royal Welsh Agricultural Show.
Harper Cymru James Trumper

My name is James Trumper and I have just completed my first year at Harper Adams University studying Agricultural Engineering. During my time away from Uni I work on the family farm at home near Abergavenny, where we farm sheep, beef, pigs and turkeys. I also have my own flock of pedigree Southdown sheep which I share with my older sister. The flock is now 10 years old and all started from my Grandad buying us 5 ewes and a ram, which has grown to 36 ewes going to the rams this year. We keep these Southdowns for showing and also to sell as pedigrees, but we have been using our own bred Southdown rams on our ewe lambs in our commercial flock of Aberfield ewes.

We recently competed at the Royal Welsh Show for the second year with our Southdown and once again we were very successful. We were placed 1st with our 2 year old ewe who then went onto receive Reserve Female Champion, which she also won the previous year. Other notable prizes were 2nd place with our ewe lamb, 3rd ram lamb, 4th yearling ewe and 6th yearling ram.

It takes a lot of preparation before the show which includes washing, halter training and trimming the sheep. The trimming of the sheep is a very time consuming task as it usually takes me 1-2 hours to trim each sheep with the lambs taking more time as they have more wool.

Going forward after the Royal Welsh we are starting to prepare our sheep again for the annual premiere Southdown sale at Worcester on the 5th of August. This is a great opportunity for us to sell our stock to other breeders. We are hoping to have a successful sale as we are one of the few breeders to have a rare bloodline which includes a lot of French bloodlines that have been imported. This will hopefully help our sheep stand out from the others at the sale as this particular bloodline can no longer be purchased.  Also in the future, I am hoping to help the society push the Southdown breed as a terminal sire.

My name is Hannah Burgoyne and I have just finished my degree at Harper Adams University studying Business Management with Marketing. I was awarded the Harper Cymry/Royal Welsh Society Student of the Year 2023 Award at this year’s Royal Welsh Agricultural show. On the Tuesday of the show, I was presented the award by Doris Taylor, Harper Adams Head of Development and the Vice-Chancellor Prof Ken Sloan (pictured below).  Alongside the award, I received a cash prize and an automatic eligibility for ‘Future Farmers of Wales Programme’. 

The award was established in 1999 by the late Bill Ratcliffe, a Harper Adams Fellow and Founder of the Harper Cymry Alumni association. The award is to encourage Welsh students from Harper to contribute to developing both their academic and personal potential. The adjudicators seek out a student that has the best thought for their future career. I hope that the confidence and moneys received from winning the Harper Cymry award will allow me to access further educational and practical courses to develop my personal portfolio and enhance my skill base, which will benefit me when I begin my career in the Business industry. 

From studying at Harper, it has given me many so many opportunities and experiences that I will never forget and friends that I have made for life. Without Harper I would not have been able to have gained a placement job at John Deere which I thoroughly enjoyed and is something I would love to return to once I have finished my travels. 

I feel very lucky that I was recognised as a student worthy enough to receive this award, and this along with my time at Harper has helped strengthen my confidence and my desire to put myself out there to achieve as much as I can in life.

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