Livestock students toast success at cattle judging contest in Paris

19 March 2018

Farming students from Easton and Otley College took part in an international cattle and wine judging competition held in Paris during the SIA agricultural show.

Year 2 agricultural degree students Laura Marsh from Binham in Norfolk and Ava Prentice from Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, who were representing the UK, Ireland and Easton and Otley College, were placed fifth and 39th respectively.

This was not the first time the college has taken part in the Paris event, but Laura, who is on a two-year animal physiology degree course, set a new college record when she finished fifth. She was also the highest placed competitor from the UK or Ireland ever at the contest.

Around 100 students from 24 countries were involved, with the top three spots going to Austria, Estonia and the Czech Republic.

During the cattle judging, competitors had to judge both beef and dairy breeds.

Agricultural lecturer Charlie Askew said the college was “delighted” to represent the UK at the prestigious event. “As a result of attending this event, we have been invited to attend a further cattle judging competition in Burgenland, Austria, in October 2018,” he said. “Experiences of this kind are invaluable to our students, helping them to become more ‘work-ready’ and bringing recognition to them, their employers and Easton and Otley.

“Both current and ex- Easton and Otley students are prevalent throughout the beef and dairy herds in East Anglia. Together with the success in Paris and previous success of students at the East of England Livestock Show in November, we can be proud of our students who we are training to go on and help drive the UK livestock sector forward in the future.”

Ava and Laura, supported by Eva O’Reilly-Warriner, also put on a selection of local produce for a Banquet of Regional Products attended by the French Agriculture Ministry, which funded the competition. “We would like to thank Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses and Ferndale Cheeses who kindly supplied their products for this event. Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses also kindly let Ava attend this event,” said Charlie.