Skills Competition Back in Business for 2021

Plans for the AgriScot 2021 competitions are progressing at pace with a new sponsor announcement and a call to young farmers being made for the event’s Business Skills competition.

Announcing the new sponsor on board, AgriScot Chairman Robert Neill stated:

“We are delighted and grateful to announce that NFU Mutual have come on board as sponsors for this important competition.”

“We are determined that the competition will go ahead in 2021, after an enforced break in 2020 due to Covid. We are hopeful that the 2021 competition can proceed in its usual format, with entry by essay in the early autumn followed by 2 regional – North and South – on-farm heats. The regional heats and the generous, but well-deserved winner’s prize of £1000, mean that this is a relatively expensive competition for us to stage and it is therefore great to have NFU Mutual on board to help.”

The competition, which is designed to encourage young people aged 16-26 to develop their farm and business management skills, is supported and facilitated by Heather Kerr, a lecturer at SRUC. Thanks to the efforts of Heather and her predecessor, many of the finalist and winners in previous years have come from the various SRUC campuses. For this year organisers are hopeful that SRUC students will continue to enter the competition in significant numbers but are also working to encourage young people from other educational institutions, modern apprenticeships and those already in the workplace to enter.

Heather Kerr stated:  “It is great to see SRUC students take up the challenge of the AgriScot Business Skills competition each year and I would encourage any SRUC student to do so again. However, it would also be great to see more young people from other educational institutions and indeed those already out in the workplace, come forward.”

“I myself am a previous winner of the competition and believe it is a great addition to any CV and a very worthwhile skills development experience. The final, where competitors are asked to study, evaluate and report back on an innovative new product on display on the day of AgriScot is a unique and very worthwhile experience.”

SAYFC plan to give increased encouragement to members from across their club network to enter this year’s competition.

Penny Montgomerie SAYFC CEO stated:  “Young Farmers tend to be very competitive by nature, and our own annual competitions, including our Member of the Year, are testament to that. I’m therefore very confident that we can encourage increasing numbers of our members to enter the AgriScot Business Skills Competition. Our members have had consistent success with this competition in previous years and it would be great to see a SAYFC member take the title again in 2021.”

Mark McBrearty, NFU Mutual Regional Manager for Scotland, concluded: “We are very excited to be supporting the AgriScot competition. As a mutual insurer which is closely connected with many of Scotland’s farms, we understand how important it is to support young people in agriculture. These young people will be the future of our industry and we’re delighted to be involved in this award which looks to inspire, challenge and reward them.

“We look forward to meeting the 2021 finalists in the Autumn and presenting the award to the winners at AgriScot in November.

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