Three young aspiring agri-professionals have reached the final of the AgriScot business skills competition, which will see the winner presented with a £1000 cheque courtesy of sponsors, Dairymaster, seeks to assess young agricultural professionals (under 25) on a range of farm and business management tasks.
The three have already completed two stages of the competition; Initial entry was by submission of a CV and a response to the statement:
“The importance of understanding capital gearing for a farm business”
Competitors then competed in an on-farm semi-final held on Saturday, October 26th and Saturday, November 2nd.
The North semi-final was held at Anna Mitchell’s Castleton Farm, Laurencekirk with Jane Mitchell (ANM director) judging.
The South semi-final was held at Alan Graham’s Gavieside Farm, Livingston with Derek Hall (recently retired Royal Bank of Scotland Agriculture manager) judging.
The three finalists, who now go forward to compete in the final on the day of AgriScot, are:
Martin Flood – from a family beef farm in Co. Monaghan, Ireland. Martin is currently in his third year of the BSc Agriculture course at SRUC Ayr and has a keen interest in grassland management. During his time in Scotland Martin has also gained experience milking on local dairy farms.
Sarah Hodge – from a family farm in East Lothian. Sarah is a 4th-year Rural Business Management student at SRUC Edinburgh. On completion of her course, she aims to enter a career within land management and has already successfully completed a summer placement with Galbraith. Outwith her studies, Sarah is an active member of her local young farmers’ club and a past secretary as well as being a member of several other clubs and organisations.
Jack Cooper – Jack is in his 4th year of the BSc Agriculture course at SRUC Aberdeen and combines his studies with part-time work on a farm local to the campus. In entering the competition Jack is looking to further develop his business management skills to add to extensive on-farm experience in both the arable and livestock sectors. Jack’s long-term goal is to work as a farm manager.
The final phase of the AgriScot Business Skills Competition, which is supported by SRUC and SAYFC, will be held at AgriScot on Wednesday, November 20th – the finalists will evaluate a new product being launched at the event and will make a presentation on their assessment to a judging panel who will also ask them a range of questions on business skills, topical agricultural issues and assess how they are developing their CV.
The judging panel will be chaired by George Blaikie (SAC Consulting) who will be joined by Ian Hope (Galbraiths) and John Kinnaird (AgriScot). The winner of the competition will be announced at the in the main ring at AgriScot and receive a £1,000 cheque from Dairymaster.
Heather Kerr, an SRUC Lecturer and co-ordinator of the AgriScot Business Skills Competition on behalf of the AgriScot directors commented:
“The finalists have shown great enthusiasm for the competition so far and it is great to see young people so optimistic about their future in the agricultural industry. I am sure we will have a very worthy winner from amongst the 3 finalists.”