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University wins silverware at Royal Berkshire Show – University of Reading

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University wins silverware at Royal Berkshire Show

Release Date 18 September 2012

University staff with one of the Berkshire Show awards

Interactive exhibits, home-grown food and fun activities helped the University of Reading to win two top prizes at the Royal Berkshire Show 2012.

The University's display won first prize in the best large trade stand and the best local trade stand categories at this year's show, which ran over the weekend of 15th and 16th September. The display showcased the University's leading role in teaching and research in agriculture, food science and rural heritage.

See photos of the University's dairying stand at this year's Show >>>

More than 3,000 visitors to the stand were able to sample a specially-made batch of ‘Whiteknights cheese' using only the University's own produce, skills and facilities. The cheese was made from milk produced by the University's 600-strong dairy herd at the University Farm at Shinfield and produced by academic specialists in food production in the unique Food Pilot Plant on the Whiteknights campus - part of the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences.

The theme for this year's display focused on dairy practices and produce, past and present, with visitors able to explore some of the processes involved. From milk production to cheese making, academics from the Departments of Agriculture and Food and Nutritional Sciences, as well as the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), were on hand to tell the story.  

Hundreds of visitors used pedal power to make their own delicious smoothies using yoghurt also produced with the University's own milk in the Pilot Plant.

Children were able to use microscopes to view different kinds of bacteria, before creating their own models of ‘good' and ‘bad' bacteria with modelling clay which were put on display in a ‘Battle of the Bacteria' exhibit.

Sir David Bell, the University's Vice-Chancellor, said: "The University of Reading's tremendous display at the Royal Berkshire Show amply demonstrated the University's heritage in agricultural research and teaching.

"Today the university remains an international leader in high-quality teaching and research in agriculture, food science and health, linking many facets of the food chain, which together will help to ensure the security of our food and health of our society well into the future."


For more information contact Pete Castle at the University of Reading press office on 0118 378 7391 or

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Notes to editors:

The Department of Agriculture and Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences are considered among the best departments of their kind in the UK (Reading is ranked #1 for ‘agriculture, forestry and food' by the Guardian University Guide 2013) and are both internationally renowned for their standards of research and teaching.

The Museum of English Rural Life houses the most comprehensive national collection of objects, books and archives relating to the history of food, farming and the countryside. The sheer quality and scope of the library, archives and object collections makes MERL exceptional. The collections have designated status ensuring their importance is recognised nationally and internationally.

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