A 21-YEAR-OLD Harper Adams student from Salterforth has been announced as one of three finalists for Agricultural Student of the Year at the prestigious Farmers Weekly Awards.

Josh Dowbiggin, of Wood End Farm, on High Lane, was nominated by agricultural managers at the Co-op where he is currently on an undergraduate placement.

He will travel to Hertfordshire on July 18 to face a panel of industry judges who will decide on the final winner before gongs are presented at a gala dinner at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel in October.

Now in their 13th year, the awards celebrate the best of British farming and have become a firm fixture in the farming calendar.

Josh, who in addition to his Co-op day job also breeds his own Herefords, manages a flock of ewes and runs a stud business, said: “Growing up I’ve always followed the Farmers Weekly Awards so making it onto the final shortlist for Agricultural Student of the Year is something I’m very proud of.

“The last nine months spent at the Co-op have taught me a tremendous amount about how the retail industry can work in partnership with farmers and producers so I was very honoured when the team decided to nominate me for this accolade. I hope I can do them proud on July 18th.”

Ciara Gorst, head of agriculture at the Co-op, added: “We’ve no doubt that Josh is a farming star of the future and are thrilled that his passion for the British farming industry has been recognised by Farmers Weekly.

“His aptitude and knowledge of complex agricultural issues both on farm and in the wider supply chain have really impressed us over the past year – it’s a major achievement to make it to the final three and we’re delighted to be playing a small part in Josh’s journey and promoting young British farming talent.”