October 24, 2014, by Emma Rayner
University PhD student wins British Farming Award
A Plant Sciences PhD student is celebrating a big win at this year’s British Farming Awards. Alongside his studies in the School of Biosciences, Stephen Jones established The British Quinoa Company which grows quinoa on his family farm in Shropshire.
Stephen has won the Arable Innovator of the Year Award which recognises pioneering farming science and entrepreneurship. The judges said they were impressed with the way Stephen had looked at all aspects of the crop, from variety selection, through agronomy to market requirements. The fact he has put in place some commercial protection, they said, demonstrates a sound business sense. And his work with the UK pesticides regulator, the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) is ‘particularly commendable’.
Stephen said: “It feel absolutely fantastic to have won. Winning this award means for me, confidence my business plan is sound and that my work will pay off and hopefully it will help my business to succeed.”
BBC Countryfile has also recently featured Stephen’s work in this new area of arable production. Stephen’s PhD work at Nottingham has helped his business by unravelling the mysteries of how differences in plant physiology can help a crop adapt to a new environment.
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