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Bicton student crowned ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at regional farming awards

Lee James and Peter Reed

Published: 17th November 2021

A young Devon farmer who was crowned ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at a regional farming awards ceremony has encouraged others to follow in his footsteps. 

The annual South West Farmer Awards, which were held in Taunton last week, saw Bicton College student Lee James pick up the accolade after being nominated by his lecturer.  

Lee had studied a higher apprenticeship in agriculture business management. 

Nominating Lee, curriculum area manager for land and environment, Peter Reed said: “Working consistently to a high standard, Lee’s passion for his livestock has been evident throughout. Lee completed a full mock tenancy application for a Devon County Council farm and was the overall winner for his application out of the 14 students.” 

Following the awards Peter said he was “delighted” that Lee was successful. 

“It was an amazing evening made even better by the fact that Lee was awarded the Apprentice of the Year,” he commented.  

“His dedication to his course and passion for the industry is second-to-none. I have thoroughly enjoyed guiding him through his apprenticeship over the last two years and have no doubt that he has a long and successful career in agriculture ahead of him.” 

Lee, who took his apprenticeship after studying on both a level 2 and level 3 course at Bicton College, commented: “I was blown away to even be nominated for the award and it was a huge honour to go on and win it.  

“My instant reaction was just shock and once it started to sink in, I was proud of what I had achieved and it’s a night I will never forget.  

“I cannot thank Peter Reed enough for what he has helped me to achieve during the Level 4 Business Management Course and I can honestly say that doing the course has opened my eyes to so many important aspects of farming.  

“I would encourage anyone who is thinking of doing the course to go ahead and do it.” 

Bicton College has been teaching agricultural courses since the 1940s and boasts over 200 hectares of farmland, parkland and college buildings. 

Potential students who are interested in studying there can find out more about the leading agricultural and land-based facilities at an upcoming open event by visiting  



Apprenticeship, Agriculture & Countryside Management, Bicton College, Cornwall College


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