AMTRA RAMA Award winners recognised during AHDA Conference
The country’s next generation of registered animal medicines advisors were recognised this week at a lavish awards ceremony during the annual AHDA conference, as the AMTRA RAMA student award winners were announced at the Hilton Metropole Hotel at Birmingham’s NEC on Monday 23rd January.
The winners have been named as Daniel Male of Mole Valley Farmers, Georgia Willerton of TFM Country Store, Tammy Hales of Pets at Home and Rosie Brain, veterinary nurse with Shires Veterinary Practice.
Overall winner and recipient of the AHDA Cup is Daniel Male, who also collected the award for top all-species RAMA student. Trevor Frost, senior product manager for Mole Valley Farmers collected both awards on his behalf.
“It's a privilege to be chosen for the awards and all who are successful in their exams should be proud to join a group who care deeply about their profession,” comments Daniel on receiving the AHDA Cup, “Well done to all who were winners on the night.”
Having taken up a role with Mole Valley Farmers back in 2019, from a background in retail and hospitality, Daniel started his RAMA training a little over a year later while operating out of the Mole Country Store in Leyburn, North Yorkshire.
“The tutors were really good at putting the training into real-life terms, and the training providers really passed on their passion for the industry,” says Daniel.
“It was also so valuable to be able to watch and learn from my colleagues at Mole Valley Farmers, as they put all the theory I had been learning into practice. This certainly helped me when I finally got my exam results and started putting the training into practice myself,” he says.
“I was able to give my customers that confidence and could build stronger relationships, knowing I also had the support network from my fellow RAMA colleagues. I also think the CPD, and the introduction of the compulsory farm CPD in particular, is really important.
“It has certainly given me a more rounded understanding of the needs of farmers and their animals,” he adds.
The winner of the best equine and companion animal RAMA student award went to Georgia Willerton, who before qualifying as an AMTRA RAMA had begun working at TFM Country Store in Whisby, Lincoln, while completing her BSc in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at the University of Lincoln.
She says her qualification as a RAMA enables her to help her customers better understand the products they are using, and how best to use them.
“Many customers will have been told which product they should go with as someone else has used it, but not many have thought about which product would actually be right for them and their animal.
“Being an AMTRA RAMA is not only allowing me to enhance my knowledge through the initial training and CPD, but also helps me develop my skills as an advisor and communicator,” says Georgia.
Tammy Hales, a keyholder colleague at Pets at Home in Farnham, Surrey, was named best performing companion animal RAMA student. She comments, “Sometimes I think that people don’t realise the volume and quality of training and exams that RAMAs must go through before getting their qualification.
“I enjoyed my training. I spent lots of time revising and was very nervous about the exams, but I was extremely proud when I received the results,” she adds.
Working out of Shires Veterinary Practice, covering Staffordshire and the surrounding Midlands counties, Rosie Brain was awarded the best performing veterinary nurse student RAMA. Rosie qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2012, initially as a small animal nurse, before moving over to the farm/equine side of the practice.
She believes her RAMA qualification helps her to advise and understand queries from her farmer clients, particularly if a vet is not available.
“Communication is important, as is an understanding of your boundaries and when to pass on to a vet. The qualification certainly makes me more useful in the practice, helping out with the workload, especially when it comes to worming advice,” she says.
Stephen Dawson, AMTRA’s secretary general, says, “I would like to congratulate all the award winners. We are delighted to recognise the achievements of these outstanding AMTRA RAMAs, particularly when they have had to adapt to different training practices during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is testament to their dedication and hard-work and really reflects the commitment that we see from registered animal medicines advisors across the country,” he concludes.