Joseph Williams awarded the Watson Peat Trophy

Agriculture graduate Joseph Williams, who has just graduated from SRUC with a First Class Honours degree, was also awarded the Watson Peat Trophy for the best Honours graduate at the Ayr Campus.

Joseph is no stranger to coming top of the class – in 2013 Joseph won the AgriScot Business Skills Award and last year, 2014, he was also one of just three to be awarded a ten week placement with SAC Consulting in Ayr – funded by Scotland’s Rural College’s Trust fund.

Growing up on Tiree, Joseph really developed his interest in the agricultural sector working on his brother-in-law’s Croft. During his studies he developed a particular interest in dairy farming with his dissertation looking at the accuracy of on farm milk progesterone tests and how the milk sampling process and the fat content within the milk affected the accuracy. Joseph is now set to take his knowledge, skills and enthusiasm ‘down-under’ as he travels to New Zealand to work for the summer on a 1500 dairy cow farm near Ashburton in the South Island.

Commenting after his graduation and award presentation, Joseph said: “I am over the moon to receive the trophy – it was a total surprise! I didn’t think I would get a First Class degree either, so to find out I have won the Watson Peat Trophy as well was absolutely brilliant!

“As I don’t have a family farm to go back to now that I have finished my studies, I am really interested in going into either consultancy or farm management. I also really enjoyed the finance and business management aspects of the degree, as well as the livestock modules. “I am really looking forward to working in New Zealand – its going to be the busiest time of their year with between 50-80 cows calving every day, but I think its probably one of the best places to learn more about dairy farming.”

Congratulating Joseph, Dr Jan Connell, Senior Tutor & Programme Leader for Agriculture at SRUC Ayr Campus said: “Joseph always showed great potential from the start, however he has excelled in the later years as he found his interest in the dairy and business management sector. I am so pleased Joseph has been rewarded for all his hard work and ability and have no doubt he well be a great asset to the agriculture Industry in UK and NZ. I wish him every success in his future career and know Joseph’s learning journey is just really beginning!”

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