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Technical Coordinator is top student

For the first time in its six year history a horticulturalist has been awarded the coveted Barrie Orme Shield. Russ Woodcock, Technical Coordinator for Bordon Hill Nurseries Ltd. was named the best candidate in this year’s BASIS certificate in crop protection exams and presented with the Shield at a ceremony in London on 7 November. Russ also received a cash prize and vouchers for a weekend break for two. He was delighted with the award. It’s a tough qualification to get. I was just pleased to hear I’d passed and never expected to be the best candidate,” he said.

Making the presentation Caroline Drummond chief executive of LEAF congratulated Russ on his achievement. “It is ten years since BASIS and LEAF first worked together. Over that time things have moved on dramatically. There is so much more now to consider in weed, pest and disease control. Knowledge of chemicals and how to use them is important but so is an understanding of alternative strategies. This is an area where horticulturalists have much to teach farmers.”

Russ Woodcock receiving his BASIS Student of the Year Award

Left to right at the BASIS Barrie Orme Shield presentation:  Caroline Drummond LEAF chief executive and winner Russ Woodcock of Bordon Hill Nurseries Ltd.

“As an Investor in People and, training is important to us,” explains Bordon Hill Nurseries Ltd. training manager Malcolm Tanner. “For many years we have developed key members of staff to achieve the BASIS qualification. It’s part of our commitment to meeting the BOPP (British Ornamental Plant Producers) Grower Scheme quality standard.”

Russ completed the training provided by David Godsmark in a concentrated three month period involving five intensive residential courses as well as practical course work. He chose The Use of Indicator Plants for the Monitoring and Control of White Fly in Poinsettias as his research project which forms a key part of the BASIS certificate.

Russ came top out of 224 candidates who sat the BASIS qualification this year. The selection process for the top candidate is rigorous as BASIS managing director Rob Simpson explains, “The BASIS exam panels are asked to put forward those candidates whom they feel meet the high standards required for this award. Trainers’ views are also sought and short-listed candidates are then interviewed on the phone. Clearly a candidate’s performance in the exam is also important although it is not essential to achieve the best score to be judged the best overall candidate.” Helen Riby

Barry Orme Shield Presentation

 

Left to right at the BASIS Barrie Orme Shield presentation: Malcolm Tanner, Caroline Drummond LEAF chief executive, winner Russ Woodcock and Professor John MacLeod, Chairman of BASIS

 


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