Galloping to success at Land-based Learner Awards

Adult equine student Moya Nicolaysen was recognised today (29 November) as the Welsh Lifelong Learner of the Year at Lantra Sector Skills Council’s Land-based Learner of the Year Awards.

29 November 2010 PR 1469 Receiving her award at the Winter Fair in Builth Wells, Moya from Henllan in Llandysul picked up £200 and a Welsh crystal paper weight from MP for Brecon and Radnor and spokesman for agriculture and rural affairs, Roger Williams, who said: “I’m delighted to support these awards, organised by Lantra, and to celebrate the achievements demonstrated here today. I hope the winners not only inspire other individuals to start a career in the sector but encourage everyone working in environmental and land-based industries to keep their skills up-to-date. “These awards recognise the excellent skills we have within the environmental and land-based industries of Wales. The individuals we saw here today demonstrate how learning and skills can be applied to great effect – developing rewarding careers; helping businesses to thrive and grow – contributing to the sustainability of rural Wales.” Once she turned 40 years old, Moya’s “life began again” and she went to Coleg Sir Gar to do an NVQ Level 2 in horse care management despite being unsure about higher education as she suffered from dyslexia at school. Since completing her NVQ, Moya has achieved her HNC in equine studies, HND top up and in 2009 she went to Aberystwyth University and achieved a 1st Class Honours Degree in equine studies. Having originally studied for a career in hairdressing and beauty before going onto working for Greater Manchester Police where she retired due to arthritis, Moya is now going into teaching within the land-based sector using her education and experience to help others achieve their goals within the industry. Moya said: “If someone had said to me six years ago that I would spend the next five aiming towards an equestrian degree I would have said they were mad. I have loved every minute of the land-based learning process and at last found something I’m quite good at.” Lantra’s National Director for Wales, Kevin Thomas, said: “Moya is a great example of what being a life long learner is all about. Having changed her career later on in life and showing that dyslexia doesn’t have to hold you back in the classroom, Moya proves that you are never too old to follow your dreams.” The Welsh Land-based Learner of the Year Awards are sponsored by Farming Connect, DCELLS, Welsh Assembly Government, NFU Cymru, Countryside Council for Wales and Farmers Union Wales. To find out more visit -ENDS- ISSUED BY: Vicky Brewin, Lantra Press Office – contact or call 02476 858 417. PHOTOS AVAILABLE ON REQUEST – Available from Monday afternoon NOTES TO EDITOR: About the Land-based Learner of the Year Awards Lantra’s Land-based Learner of the Year Awards recognises those in the land-based and environmental industries that are committed to improving their skills and who strive for excellence within the 17 industries Lantra represents. The awards are split into two categories where there is a Young Land-based Learner and Lifelong Learner for each. The categories are: Land management and production - agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries management, land-based engineering, trees and timber and fencing Animal health and welfare and environmental industries - animal care, animal technology, equine, farriery, veterinary activities, game and wildlife management, environmental conservation, production horticulture, horticulture, landscaping and sports turf and floristry Winners Farming Connect Learner of the Year Award Winner - David Horman, mixed farmer from Llandovery, Carmarthenshire Land Management and Production Young Land-based Learner of the Year Winner – Robert John, dairy farmer from Pembroke Land Management and Production Young Land-based Learner of the Year Runner Up – Sam Carey, dairy farmer from Cardigan, Pembrokeshire Land Management and Production Lifelong Land-based Learner of the Year Winner – Caroline Riches at the Forestry Commission from Resolven, Neath Land Management and Production Lifelong Land-based Learner of the Year Runner Up – Euros Evans, Dairy farmer from Newcastle Emlyn, Ceredigion Animal Health and Welfare and Environmental Industries Young Land-based Learner of the Year Winner – Gethin Crewdson, working in environmental conservation from Welshpool, Powys Animal Health and Welfare and Environmental Industries Young Land-based Learner of the Year Runner Up – Alicia Dawson, working in animal care, from Benllech, Anglesey Animal Health and Welfare and Environmental Industries Lifelong Land-based Learner Winner – Moya Nicolaysen, working in equine, from Henllan, Llandysul Animal Health and Welfare and Environmental Industries Young Land-based Learner of the Year Runner Up – Iestyn Thomas, working in environmental conservation, from Guilsfield, Welshpool. About Lantra Lantra is the Sector Skills Council for land-based and environmental industries, working to ensure these businesses access the training, qualifications, skills and knowledge they need. An independent UK organisation, Lantra works with employers and the UK’s governments to address the skills and productivity needs of approximately 230 businesses (one in every ten UK businesses) in: agriculture; animal care; animal technology; aquaculture; environmental conservation; equine; farriery; fencing; fisheries management; floristry; game and wildlife management; land-based engineering; horticulture, landscape and sports turf; production horticulture; trees and timber and veterinary nursing. By working together with the sector, Lantra leads research on skills issues and business needs, sets national standards and develops qualifications to meet modern business needs and help businesses grow through skills. For more information see