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Rising farming star is named college's student of the year

PUBLISHED: 13:13 23 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:49 23 October 2019

Phoebe Russell has been named Student of the Year at Easton and Otley College. Picture: John Nice

Phoebe Russell has been named Student of the Year at Easton and Otley College. Picture: John Nice

John Nice

A rising star of the farming community who made an "exceptional" contribution to college life said she was "shocked and happy" to be named student of the year by her tutors.

Phoebe Russell, from King's Lynn, was given the award at the graduation ceremony at Easton and Otley College, outside Norwich.

The 24-year-old has earned a first-class honours degree in agriculture on a programme affiliated by the University of East Anglia (UEA), and has also secured a place on the National Farmers' Union (NFU) graduate scheme.

During her three years of study at Easton and Otley College, she took on the roles of student president and student governor - representing the student voice and helping to organise several charity fundraising events - as well as embracing opportunities for international study.

She said: "The course was exactly what I was looking for as it was pure agriculture. I studied lots of different modules and global agriculture was a particular favourite. Through the college I was able to visit the Czech Republic - and whilst I studied here I also went to New Zealand, Texas and Wyoming.

"I think there is a sense of community at Easton and Otley. To me, the farming community is really replicated here. It's like a family."

On life after her degree, she said: "Other than the job that I got - working for the NFU as an agricultural policy trainee - I applied for three other positions and I got offered all of them. They were really competitive positions so it means that the degree from here is really valued."

Miss Russell also read out a vote of thanks on behalf of the 94 higher education students who gained qualifications with the college, the UEA and the University of Huddersfield, which affiliated several teaching qualifications at Easton and Otley in 2019.

College principal Jane Townsend said: "Our graduation ceremony is always one of the highlights of the year. I was so proud of all of our students.

"Special congratulations to Phoebe on her award. Her positive contribution to college life has been exceptional."

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