Two ambitious young agriculturists are looking forward to global travel thanks to a scholarship run by Reaseheath College and the Cheshire Agricultural Society.

Niamh McGrath, an undergraduate agricultural co-ordinator from Knutsford, and Emma Cook from Kelsall, a co-manager of a calf rearing unit, have each been awarded £2000 John Platt Travel Scholarships to fund international research which will improve profitability within Cheshire’s farming community. They received their scholarships at this week’s Royal Cheshire County Show and will share their findings with fellow farmers, Young Farmers Clubs and agricultural students on their return.

Niamh, 23, who is currently on a year’s placement with the Co-op Farming and Fisheries team, is planning a trip to the USA to investigate the impact of marketing dairy products nationally and regionally through the successful “Checkoff” scheme and whether it would be viable to introduce a similar approach in the UK.

Niamh is a former Reaseheath student who is studying for a BSc (Hons) Degree in Agri Food Marketing with Business at Harper Adams University. She said: “I’d like to thank the Cheshire Agricultural Society and Reaseheath College for supporting my travels and research, which I hope will further my career and knowledge within agriculture.”

Emma, 22, who works for Delamere Logs, a logging and contract calf rearing business, wants to travel throughout New Zealand to study the health and welfare of dairy-beef calves, pre-weaning through to post-weaning. In particular she plans to take an in depth look at disease management with the aim of helping Cheshire farmers to lower mortality, decrease medication and maximise profits.

She commented: “Winning the John Platt Travel Scholarship has been an amazing achievement. It’s been my ambition for many years to visit New Zealand and learn more about the calf rearing systems used there. I can now achieve this and hopefully use my research to improve calf health and welfare, and help farmers in Cheshire become more profitable.”

“I’d like to thank Reaseheath College and the Cheshire Agricultural Society for giving me this opportunity.”

Presenting the awards, Reaseheath’s Principal and CEO Marcus Clinton commented that he was delighted that the college continued to offer the travel scholarship in partnership with the Cheshire Agricultural Society as it gave young people a fantastic opportunity to carry out research which would benefit the county’s farming communities.

Cheshire Agricultural Society Treasurer Keith Thomas said that both recipients had been outstanding candidates and had shown the drive, ambition and desire to seek out new information and technology which they would share with a wider audience.

The John Platt scholarship is in memory of John Platt, a former Chair of Reaseheath Governors and former Chairman, President and Honorary Life Warden of the Cheshire Agricultural Society. For further details see