An early call is going out to encourage aspiring young farm professionals to demonstrate their agri-business skills.
The AgriScot Business Skills competition is open to anyone aged between 18 and 25 on the day of AgriScot (16th November) and there is a £1000 prize, courtesy of sponsors, Biocell Agri, paid to the eventual winner.
Andrew Moir, AgriScot Chairman is keen to encourage entries from young people from all walks of agricultural life:
“The competition has been very well supported in previous years by students, particularly those from SRUC.”
“SRUC staff are also instrumental in organising the competition and we have also had great support from SAYFC.”
“However, the competition is open to anyone, they might be a student studying a non-agricultural course, someone studying outwith Scotland, or perhaps a young person who is already in-work on the farm or in another ancillary career.”
Alec Ross of BIocell states:
“I think the AgriScot Business Skills competition plays a significant role in helping to equip our young people to meet the challenges of our industry.”
“Entry is straightforward, the information is all on the AgriScot website. Really it’s just a case of submitting a CV and writing a short answer to a question pertaining to the industry. From there, regional entrants will be invited onto a farm to spend a few hours with the host farmer and a judge discussing various aspects of the farm business.
“Ultimately we whittle entrants down across the regions to four finalists who compete at AgriScot for the award and its £1000 cash prize.”
“It might all sound pretty scary, but not one finalist I’ve met has ever regretted entering the competition, and one of my great privileges is watching how these young people develop. I suspect they’d have made a go of their careers anyway, but it’s lovely to think we had a small part to play.”
“Our first winner, Ian Christie, managed to secure a tenancy near Lumphanen. The runner-up that year, David Hurst, went on to manage 1000ac of cereals and 3 suckler herds. Sara Sands, from Inchture, who won a couple of years back, spent the money on a plane ticket to Australia, where she worked and studied.”
2015 Winner Claire Simonetta of Ulva Ferry on the Isle of Mull comments:
“I would strongly encourage any young and driven person that is passionate about the agricultural industry to consider taking part in the 2016 AgriScot Business Skills Award competition.”
“The valuable skills they can gain throughout the process of competing will help their future career by preparing them for interviews and taking them out of their comfort zone whilst building their confidence. Most importantly though, they will have the opportunity to meet a range of industry experts and receive their professional feedback on the CV and statements made during the interviews. They will be able to further develop their ability to critically analyse different aspects of the farming industry and discuss financial business management whilst including their own knowledge and experience, a skill that they will find most useful in their further studies or at work.”
“I personally found the competition an excellent event to challenge my skills and demonstrate my passion for the agricultural industry to a panel of fair and friendly judges who rewarded me with useful feedback on my strengths and weaknesses, allowing me to work on and broaden my knowledge. It has also given me the confidence to challenge my skills further by successfully taking part in more competitions and shortly after winning the Award, I was also offered a job!”
“After graduation next year, I plan on becoming an agricultural consultant and I have no doubt that having met all the people involved in the AgriScot Business Skills competition and being able to add this achievement to my CV will help me to find a good job.”