The 2021 Kubota-sponsored Agricultural Student of the Year, Jessica Langton, is not afraid to get involved.
Passionate about farming, Jessica has recently won a string of high-profile awards. Alongside the accolade of Agricultural Student of the Year at the 2021 British Farming Awards, Jessica has also been crowned Farmers Weekly’s 2021 Agricultural Student of the Year.
The energetic young farmer is proving a great ambassador for UK agriculture, and has recently joined the NFU’s dairy board. She was runner-up in the RABDF dairy student of the year; is an active member of Holstein young breeders; and is a stock judging champion.
“It’s great to get involved, and to create opportunities to try and make a difference within our industry,” says Jessica. “If you want to make a difference, don’t grumble – just put yourself forward so you can influence change.”
“You’ll get a few knock-backs, but don’t let that put you off,” she says. “Be resilient, stay focussed, and challenge yourself by getting out of your comfort zone. And if you’re doing something good, share it so we can all learn.”
Currently juggling a part-time role for Genus ABS while completing her animal science degree at the University of Nottingham, Jessica intends to further her education in animal health and technology within the dairy industry.
“The dairy industry is in my blood, and I’ve just accepted a fully-funded doctorate in veterinary medicine and sciences, so I’ll be continuing at the University of Nottingham for another three years,” she explains.
The eldest of four children to dairy farming parents Tracey and Dave Langton of Crowfields Farm, Langley Mill, Derbyshire, Jessica recalls the moment she was short-listed as a BFA finalist.
“I was delighted, though it was totally unexpected,” she says. “The expectations were that Harper Adams students are going to give you a good run for your money, but getting through to the final meant I had as good a chance of winning as the other finalists.”
Her next big project is with the NFU’s live lessons series, which is looking at sustainable farming and climate change as part of British Science week, which takes place in March.
“It is one of the country’s biggest virtual classrooms, where any primary school can sign-up, and gain a greater awareness about the role of UK agriculture in daily life,” she explains. “Last year’s event reached over 200,000 children.”
Clearly enjoying her journey, Jessica remains passionate about where her future lies.
“I see myself always being involved with cows, one way or another,” she says. “And I’d really like to be chair of the NFU dairy board one day.”