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Showcasing the future of farming research

More than 80 post-graduates from across the UK have convened in Stratford-upon-Avon this week for the first AHDB-wide studentship event.

The four-day event, which started 14 November, sees AHDB-funded PhD students showcase their work and gain insight into the wider industry and the career opportunities it offers.

The event, being held at Stratford Manor Hotel in Warwickshire, is split into two back-to-back two-day conferences, the first focusing on livestock and the second on crops.

Each part of the event includes keynote speakers, presentations by final year students, a poster session, introductory presentations from new students and team challenges. There will be awards for the best poster and best presentation for each of the crops and livestock categories, with judges drawn from AHDB’s technical team, panels and committees and the wider research community.

The conference provides a forum for AHDB-funded students to communicate their research to a wider audience and gain an understanding of the range of topics covered by other students, while allowing knowledge, experience and ideas to be shared and discussed. It also provides an opportunity for the progress of each project to be monitored to ensure they are on track to reach their objectives.

AHDB’s Chief Technical Officer Richard Laverick, who is speaking at the event, said: “Although we’ve held similar events in the past, this is the first time we’ve brought together all our PhD students across the crops and livestock sectors under one roof.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our students to interact with each other and members of the industry, while improving their understanding of how their work contributes to the wider knowledge base and how we can harness that knowledge to deliver positive impacts on farm and take our industry forward.”

AHDB invests about £1 million a year in doctoral research at UK universities, colleges and research institutes as part of its work to develop a new tranche of agricultural and horticultural scientific expertise.

Former AHDB-sponsored PhD student Georgina Key, who now works for AHDB as a resource management scientist for the crop sectors, said: “Doing an AHDB studentship gave me varied and invaluable exposure to the industry, which has allowed me to make a difference in an area I am passionate about.”

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