Nineteen-year-old Emma Cotton named winner of the 2015 South West Dairy Crest and NFU Scholarship


Emma Cotton, a nineteen-year-old from Glastonbury in Somerset, has been named as this year’s winner of the South West Dairy Crest & NFU Scholarship Award. Miss Cotton received an award of £1,500 from sponsors Dairy Crest. The Awards scheme distributed £15,000 this year between over twenty applicants.

The Awards, now in their 90th year, are open to students studying dairy related courses from the south-western counties of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

Emma, who has just started her BSc Hons in Agriculture at Harper Adams University, was one of four finalists in this year’s competition. She impressed the judges with the depth of knowledge behind her application. “Emma is someone with real positive potential and a quizzical energy to succeed in making her mark on the dairy industry,” enthused Steve Harris from sponsors Dairy Crest.

“She has a fully rounded knowledge of dairy farming. She has learned very quickly from her practical experience on a 600-calf heifer rearing unit, as well as seeing a diverse range of systems while working for NMR. Clearly it was quite a surprise to Emma to see such a range of units within a few miles of her home on the Somerset Levels. It has made her aware of the importance of finding a system which suits both the individual farm and the farmer.”

In due course Emma intends to travel to the major milk producing regions of the globe – the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Eastern Europe. She is passionate about dairy and keen to gain an understanding of the impact of more extreme production conditions from these visits.  Once qualified, Emma is planning a career in research and consultancy.

Emma was one of four finalists, from over 20 successful applicants, that entered this year’s Scholarship competition. The other finalists who were also interviewed by the panel and received cash awards were:

  • Stephanie Christensen from Pilton, Somerset studying at Royal Agricultural University, sponsored by ABAgri
  • William Slade from Chawleigh, Chumleigh, Devon, who is in his fifth year at Cambridge University studying Veterinary Medicine, sponsored by Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar
  • Jennifer Diment from Corscombe, Dorset who is in her final year at Harper Adams University studying BSc Agriculture with Animal Science, sponsored by Wyke Farms