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Masons Kings apprentices win new industry award

Two apprentice service technicians employed by John Deere dealer Masons Kings, one of south-west England’s premier agricultural machinery dealerships, have scooped a prestigious industry award.

Cameron Merryfield and Oliver Cowling were named joint winners of the new Dealer Apprentice of the Year (South West Region) Award by farm machinery industry website Agri Machinery News. This regional award covered entrants from Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.

At a presentation in February at Masons Kings’ Chudleigh branch, the two winners were each presented with a commemorative glass trophy. A special award was also made to the dealership in recognition of its dedication and long-term commitment to the development of its apprentices.

Cameron Merryfield and Oliver Cowling recently completed their three-year John Deere Ag Tech apprentice training programme at the end of 2016. They formally graduated in March at a special ceremony held at the company’s European headquarters in Mannheim, Germany.

Awards organiser and publisher Paul Caunce said: “The Agri Machinery News Dealer Apprentice of the Year Awards are designed to recognise the very best apprentices that the industry currently employs. Nominations were sought from dealers in the region, and the two young people put forward by Masons Kings were by far the strongest candidates. It was extremely difficult to choose between them, hence they were made joint winners.

“Both Cameron and Oliver have shown exceptional progress on the John Deere Ag Tech training programme, and are also excelling in the workshop environment at their local branches. In addition they both have first-rate organisational and administration skills, which are an absolute necessity for today’s agricultural service technician.

“There has never been a more exciting time for talented and enthusiastic young people to work in landbased engineering. The technology currently being used on farms is way ahead of other industries such as the automotive business, and the future is very much one of drones, robotics and even autonomous vehicles.”

The dealership’s group aftermarket manager Graham Smith said: “We congratulate Cameron and Oliver on the hard work and effort they have put in to get to this level and achieve this award. I should also mention the help they have received along the way from the whole team of people they work with, so well done to everyone at the dealership.”

Masons Kings managing director Roger Prior added: “With our business expanding and constant developments in technology, it is always important for us to supplement our existing group of excellent staff. Without a shadow of a doubt, the John Deere Ag, Turf and Parts Tech schemes enable us to attract excellent young people into our business.”