A young game and wildlife management trainee from the north of Scotland has been crowned cream of the crop at this year’s Lantra Learner of the Year Awards.
Megan Rowland was named the overall winner at the awards ceremony at Dunblane, which set out to celebrate learners in agriculture, aquaculture, equine, fisheries management, environmental conservation, game and wildlife, horticulture, trees and timber, and land-based engineering. The 25-year-old trainee from Dornoch, Sutherland, has been doing an HNC in game and wildlife management with North Highland College UHI while working for Practical Land Management.
“What a great honour to be chosen as the overall winner, not to mention winning the game and wildlife category,” said Ms Rowland, who hails from Orkney.
The overall runner-up was the winner of the horticulture category. This was 18-year-old apprentice Reece McNaughton, of Kelso, who is doing an SVQ Level 3 in amenity horticulture through Borders College.
Meanwhile, the prizes for modern apprentice and agriculture learner of the year went to 18-year-old farming apprentice Sine Soszka, of Dornoch.
Ms Soszka has been working at the Scott family’s Fearn Farms, near Tain, while doing a Modern Apprenticeship in agriculture through SRUC.
The fisheries management and environmental conservation learner of the year award went to 17-year-old Scott Milne, of Stirling, who is doing an SVQ Level 2 in environmental conservation through SRUC while working for Stirling Council Fisheries.
The winner of the trees and timber learner of the year award was 20-year-old Aaron Ross, of Cardenden, Fife, who is doing a Modern Apprenticeship in trees and timbers with the Falkland Stewardship Trust.
Top in the higher education learner of the year category was 32-year-old Jenna Ross who is a fellow at Aberdeen University and Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
She has recently started a Nuffield Farming Scholarship into global slug control methods.
Other prizes included: runner-up equine learner for 20-year-old Heather Moir, of Blair Drummond, near Stirling; runner-up game and wildlife learner for 20-year-old Connor Aubrey, of Grantown; runner-up horticulture learner for 22-year-old Jennifer Wright, of Dunfermline; runner-up fisheries management and enviromental conservation learner for 22-year-old Jamie Gemmell, of Kirkcaldy; and runner-up trees and timber learner for 23-year-old Reece King, of Glenrothes.