First Class Result
When Kerry Cartwright was looking at universities, her interest in animals and love of the outdoors led her to Scotland’s Rural College.
Despite not having a farming background, the 22-year-old from Invergordon in the Highlands, chose to study agriculture at SRUC’s Craibstone campus in Aberdeen after attending an open day.
“I am from a rural background and didn’t really want to study in a city,” she said. “I fell in love with the campus, which is outside of the city but close enough for convenience.
“I chose agriculture after lambing on my uncle’s croft in my 5th year at school. I have always loved animals and being outdoors, and this seemed to combine both of these.”
Kerry was also attracted by the flexibility of the course which gave her the option to leave with a qualification at the end of any given year. Four years on, she is graduating with a first-class honours degree.
“It turned out I loved the course and the agricultural industry and I stayed for the four years,” she said. “The lecturers are amazing and will try their hardest to support you, both in the classroom and out.
“I also really enjoyed getting out to see the industry and everything on offer, including visits to McIntosh Donald, Simon Howie’s pig farm and Castleton berry farm.”
Despite facing challenges in her first year, when severe daily headaches left her mentally and physically exhausted, she was able to overcome them with the support of staff at the campus.
She was a finalist for the AgriScot 2017 business skills award and the 2018 Pinnacle business awards. She was also chosen for the SRUC traineeship internship during her third year, working with SAC Consulting for ten weeks during the summer of 2018.
“This work allowed me to gain experience in a large consulting business doing everything from crop walking to beef efficiency scheme paperwork,” she said.
It has also helped her get a job as a trainee farm business consultant for Laurence Gould which she will do alongside helping her boyfriend Ian Buchanan – who is also graduating with a degree in Agriculture from Craibstone – with his free range, rare breed pork business.