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SRUC graduate crowned Young Farmer of the Year

Pictured: Former SRUC student, James Fairlie. (Credit: Angus Findlay)


Former SRUC student James Fairlie has been awarded Young Farmer of the Year in the prestigious Farmers Weekly annual awards.


James undertook his HND in Agriculture at SRUC Edinburgh and went on to complete his third year at the Aberdeen campus, graduating with his BSc in 2010.

After graduating, James worked in Australia before returning home to his family farm at Kirkton of Monikie, Dundee. Since his return, James has successfully undertaken the transition of the farm to the next generation. Along with this, James has dramatically enhanced the business to include an anaerobic digester and the whopping expansion of 570ha f contracts with neighbouring farms.

Whilst evaluating the agricultural technicalities, James also had to put on his business cap. With land prices of up to £20,000/acre, James chose the anaerobic digester as an investment which would generate lucrative returns without having to physically expand the farm.

In partnership with the farm’s current arable enterprises, the anaerobic digester has proven to be a success, producing 500kw of electricity for the national grid.

James has managed to completely transform the farm’s economic profile, now thriving after a history of poor returns from low commodity prices.


“It is as if our hard work and dedication to doing as good a job as we can is being noticed and appreciated.”


We are incredibly proud of James’ achievements and are confident that his journey and ambitious attitude will inspire our past, present and future students.


You can visit Farmers Weekly to read James’ full story and just what highlighted him as Young Farmer of the Year.





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