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Monday 10th of November 2014
Caroline Smith, a regional adviser working for Dow AgroSciences in the East Midlands, has been announced as the winner of the 2014 Barrie Orme Shield. The prize is awarded annually to the best candidate for the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection. Caroline was presented with the trophy by Peter Kendall, Chair of AHDB, at a ceremony at the Farmers Club.
Caroline was trained by Debbie Wedge via Vale Training, coordinated by Kate Mason. Debbie has consistently turned out Barrie Orme winners and Caroline takes her record to 6 winners since the shield was initiated in 2000.
Two runners-up for the prize were James Waterhouse, an agronomy manager with BASF who provides technical product support, and James Hamilton, who runs his own farming and farm consultancy businesses, as well as working for the Red Tractor Farm Assurance Auditing company SAI Global on the Beef and Lamb scheme.
BASIS Managing Director Rob Simpson said: “The standard of candidates for the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection continues to be very high, and the winner and runners-up for this year’s Barrie Orme Shield are a reflection of these standards. Right now it is critical that our industry demonstrates the exacting levels of training, CPD and agronomic practice that go into maintaining sustainable agriculture for the future. “
Presenting the award Peter Kendall said: “The industry depends on young people coming in, and we need them. As farmers we need great advice. I look at the challenges of black grass, septoria and cabbage flea beetle, because of neonics being withdrawn, and I know as a farmer that I’m not going to solve these problems on my own. We need the industry training people for the future, and we need ambassadors like Caroline prepared to stand up and champion what we are doing. I congratulate BASIS on running this award.”
Caroline graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree in Biology but realised shortly afterwards that she wanted to pursue a career in Agriculture. She joined the family farming business in Oxfordshire (mixed farm and contracting business) for three years to gain practical experience and in September 2011 joined Dow AgroSciences as an Associate Biologist at the company’s R&D site in Warwickshire. After six months she moved to Dow’s head office in Hitchin to take up the role of Technical Services Specialist alongside her BASIS study.
Since passing her BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection, Caroline has been working as Dow’s Regional Business Manager for the East Midlands - providing technical support to growers and agronomists in the region.
Caroline now becomes a member of the BASIS Education and Training Committee for one year, providing fresh expertise to the training and certification organisation.