A work experience stint with 1,400 cows on a New Zealand dairy farm helped a young farmer become the cream of the crop.
Edward Towers beat 30 other farming prodigies to be crowned Great Britain’s Dairy Student of the Year.
Edward, whose parents John and April, and brother Joe run Lune Valley Dairy in Farleton near Lancaster, won £2,000 cash and £1,000 for his university.
The final year student at Harper Adams University in Newport said he was “absolutely thrilled” to win the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) De Lacy award.
To win, he had to write an essay giving business advice on the future of a 120-cow dairy farm.
Edward, 23, who studies BSc Agriculture with Animal Science at the Shropshire university, works as junior assistant manager on his family’s 300-cow farm.
The Towers family has farmed in the Lune Valley for many generations and began rearing cows at Brades Farm at Farleton in 1960 when Edward’s grandfather Robert Towers married Elizabeth and they moved from nearby Camp House Farm.
The family then took on a milk round business which continues to this day, while John’s brother Chris Towers took over Hornby Butchers.
The firm changed its name from Brades Farm to Lune Valley Dairy Farm in 2013.
Aside from his work placement in New Zealand, well-travelled Edward also had a stint on a dairy unit in Germany and a year in Australia.
And he says he won’t rule out going abroad again to develop his career.
“I’m keeping my options open to work overseas,” he said. “My parents are very supportive of me travelling and gaining further experience - it opens the mind to new ideas, helps to gain a perspective of the industry.”