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Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society’s student bursary award 2019

Twenty-one-year-old Gracie was chosen as the worthy recipient of the £1,000 prize out of a strong field of entries.
Gracie lives at Llandigige Fawr, where the family farm in Berea (near St. Davids) has a herd of suckler cows and they grow cereals and potatoes.
Said Gracie: "I've always been interested in the farm and through work experience with agronomists and having an interest in the crops we grow on the farm, I decided that I wanted to venture down the route of crop production and management.
"I was accepted on to the BSc Agriculture with Crop Management degree course at Harper Adams University. I began studying at Harper in 2016 and I will graduate next year. My course is four years, with the third year being a placement year. I spent my placement year working for UPL, and international agro-chemical company. I was based in Evesham in Worcestershire as a Field Trials Technician, mainly working with seed treatment development. My job was to help take potential new formulations of seed treatments and test their effect on crops in the field. I carried out my own trial whilst I was on placement on the effect of biostimulants on winter wheat. Biostimulants are plant derived ingredients e.g. seaweed extract, that are used to enhance the crops natural functions and to help them overcome stress.
"With my final year approaching, I'm beginning to work on my dissertation. My dissertation will be on the effect of biofumigation on Rhizoctonia solani in potatoes. Biofumigation is growing certain crops that have pesticidal properties when they're chopped and ploughed into the soil to control pests and diseases. Rhizoctonia is a disease in potatoes that causes black scurf, stem canker and Rhizoctonia distortion. This causes yield loss and poor skin quality.
"I'm very proud and honoured to be the recipient of the bursary this year. To be recognised by the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society is a huge honour. Particularly in light of the number and quality of the other applicants this year. I'm looking forward to resuming my studies in September and using the bursary to help the cost of the research I will be carrying out on my dissertation. Once my dissertation is complete, I'm hoping to use the knowledge I've gained to possibly implement a biofumigation programme on our home farm. Also, the research for my dissertation could continue on to further research in the future as I begin my career after graduating."
The £1,000 bursary is open to all qualifying students studying agriculture, veterinary science, agricultural engineering, food technology, forestry or other subjects clearly allied to agriculture.

The bursary is tax free and is awarded to the student who, in the opinion of a panel of judges, has submitted the best dissertation on how the bursary will assist them to complete their course of study.

Gracie plans to become an independent agronomy consultant in the future, specialising in potato production.
Gracie is seen receiving the award from senior judge Roy Davies.
Bursary Award 2019



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