Celebrating talent in Wales’s top environmental and land-based awards

Talented trainees were recognised in Wales’s top environmental and land-based awards as they celebrated numerous achievements at a very challenging time for the industry.

Announced virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lantra Cymru Wales’ Land-based Learner of the Year Awards recognised the initiative, skills and enthusiasm of individuals pursuing careers within the environmental and land-based sectors.

John Williams

Winner of the Learner of the Year Award (20 years and under) went to John Williams from Whitford, Holywell in Flintshire, with David Goodchild from Llwyngwril in Gwynedd announced as winner of the Learner of the Year Award (21 years and over).

John Williams, aged 17, is currently studying a Level 3 Agricultural course at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai Coleg Glynllifon, and while working on nearby farm Mynydd Mostyn has taken on board numerous responsibilities.

Commenting on his recognition John said,

“There are always challenges that I will face in the industry. It is essential to look at these challenges with an open mind and work hard to overcome them. As farmers there are many things we have yet to learn and I believe no matter what age you are, a farmer should always be willing to learn.”

Runner-up for the Learner of the Year Award (20 years and under) went to 17 year old Emma Morgan Page from Churchstoke in Montgomery who is currently studying towards a Level 3 City & Guild’s Extended Diploma in Agriculture at NPTC Group.

David Goodchild, winner of the Learner of the Year Award (21 and over), 21 years old and he also studied at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai Coleg Glynllifon, where he gained a Diploma Level 3 in Land-based Technology. David is now studying for his BEng (Hons) in Agricultural Engineering at Harper Adams University.

The judges were very keen to comment on David’s focus and determination,

“David epitomised a learner who had overcome some personal challenges and had used every opportunity to continue his personal development. Having left school without the qualifications to achieve his ambitions he had responded positively to a different learning environment and had progressed from Level 2 to now studying for an agricultural engineering degree.

“Through his determination and by making the most of every opportunity the panel felt that David was acquiring an ideal mix of practical skills and academic knowledge that would ensure that he would be successful in his career and he would make a valuable contribution to his chosen sector.”

Runners-up for the Learner of the Year Award (over 21 years) included Phoebe Day, age 21, from Buckley in Flintshire in currently studying Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management at Coleg Cambria-Llysfasi; and 25 year old Daisy Bell from Porthmadog who is studying a Level 3 BTEC in Countryside Management (including forestry).

Now in their 26th year, the judging of the awards were done by digital interview following a pre-selection process. Commenting on the awards Kevin Thomas, Director of Lantra Cymru Wales, said,

“The Lantra Cymru Awards highlights the outstanding contributions and achievements of all our winners and runner-ups who work within Wales’s environmental and land-based industries as well as the many rewarding careers available in the industry.

“This year has been difficult for everyone due to COVID-19 but we still wanted to mark the occasion to celebrate the achievements of those progressing and excelling in their training and development within the sector.

“I know the judges were very impressed again with the quality of nominations and I would like to congratulate all winners and finalists. We are also grateful to the continued support of Farming Connect in helping us with these Awards.”

Over the past quarter of a century Lantra Cymru Wales has provided vital expert training and qualifications for the environment and land-based industries.

Award winners and runners up will be enlisted into the new Lantra Cymru Wales Ambassadors programme to champion skills development within the food and drink supply chain in Wales. A combination of resources and informal awareness raising will be made available to all ambassadors during the year.

Farming Connect was the main sponsor of these awards and the full list of the Lantra Cymru Wales Learner of the Year Awards 2020 winners and runners-up is as follows:

Learner of the Year Award – 20 years and under

Winner: John Williams (Holywell, Flintshire)

Runner-up: Emma Morgan Page (Churchstoke, Montgomery, Powys)

Learner of the Year Award – over 21 years

Winner: David Goodchild (Llwyngwril, Gwynedd)

Runner-up: Phoebe Day (Buckley, Flintshire)

Runner-up: Daisy Bell (Porthmadog, Gwynedd)

To learn more about the Gwobrau Lantra Cymru Awards, visit https://www.wales.lantra.co.uk/news/lantra-cymru-awards-2020