A Craven student is in the top one per cent nationally after completing his diploma course with the highest possible grade.

Luke Harrison scored the triple distinction, triple star after excelling on his two-year advanced extended technical diploma in agriculture.

The diploma is equivalent to three A Levels.

Now the Austwick teenager, who was awarded a scholarship by agricultural supplier Carr’s Billington to help with his studies at Newton Rigg College in Cumbria, is putting his new knowledge to good use on the family farm.

He is also planning a return to college to take on further studies.

A delighted Luke, 18, said: “I had no idea it would go so well. But it’s the tutors who made it really.

“They’re very helpful and knowledgeable and the set up at Newton Rigg is so great, with a big, modern dairy farm.

“You see a modern way of doing things and that was backed up by the studying.”

Luke scored the college’s first top marks in the subject for three years and is now set to study Level four dairy management while continuing to work on his family’s farm, New Kettlesbeck.

Luke, who studied sectors from habitat management to farm tenancies, biosecurity and animal nutrition plans, works alongside his dad John on the 260-acre farm.

He’s getting plenty of hands on experience with the farm’s 100 Holstein cattle and 125 Swaledale sheep.

Newton Rigg is one of the leading land-based colleges in the UK, with courses covering everything from gamekeeping and animal management to forestry, horticulture and agricultural engineering.

The college’s programme manager for agriculture Dan Stamper said: “Luke is driven to excel and whatever information he was given he would take it on to the next level.

“To achieve the highest grade means that every piece of assessed work and exam secured the highest possible mark and that puts him in the very top per cent of students nationally.”

Carr’s Billington’s commercial manager Ian Powley said: “Luke has done exceptionally well and we wish him all the best for his future in farming.

“A lot of our staff have trained at Newton Rigg and we know the good work they do so we are always eager to support the college in any way we can.”

Luke was also given an award by the college for ‘most outstanding academic achievement’.

Carr’s Billington has a specialist team of nutritionists who formulate feeds in line with the latest research and development, constantly updating the range.