Two agricultural students with links to the north and north-east have been shortlisted for a prestigious farm business award.
The two students – one studying at SRUC’s Ayr campus and one studying at SRUC’s Craibstone campus in Aberdeen – are among eight finalists in the 2015 Farmers Club Pinnacle Awards for Excellence in Business Management.
The competition invites agricultural students from across the country to demonstrate and discuss innovative applied business projects to a panel of judges from The Farmers Club, The Cave Foundation and agri-consultancy ADAS.
First up for the award is Robert Clunas, 20, from Cromarty who is studying in his third year for an Honours Degree in Green Technology at Ayr.
Following a fall from a quad bike while tending local blackface sheep, Mr Clunas started working on a project to alert help to remote accidents while pinpointing the location through apps and sensors.
Next up for the award is a third year BSc Agriculture student at Craibstone, Ailsa Thomson from Newport on Tay.
Ms Thomson, who helps at her uncle’s farm near Tomintoul with sheep and a small herd of Gascon cattle, has submitted a project carried out in conjunction with renowned north-east Limousin breeder Harry Emslie of Kinknockie Farm, Mintlaw, Peterhead.
She said: “Using the information Harry gave me and the knowledge gained during course work, I developed a business plan for a sheep enterprise on the farm. The Pinnacle competition will be a valuable experience and give me the chance to improve my interview and presentation skills. I am looking forward to it.”
The two students will travel to London for the event on April 30, accompanied by course tutors.
Last year the top accolade in the competition was awarded to a north-east agricultural student studying for a BSc agriculture at Craibstone.
Ross Learmonth, who hails from Methlick in Aberdeenshire, was given the top prize of £2,000 for a short-term farm business plan, which focused on ensuring farm profitability before subsidies.