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Student Hits New Heights at the Farmers Club Awards

Aberdeen student, Robbie Stevenson has won Bronze at the Farmers Club Pinnacle Awards for Excellence in Business Management at a prestigious ceremony held recently in London.

The awards, now in their 20th year, which are a regular fixture in the academic calendar, present a unique challenge for students to demonstrate business potential by encouraging innovation and competition as well as allowing the demonstration of realistic business strategies which also meet wider environmental requirements.

Robbie, who is currently in his third year of a degree in Agriculture, was one of eight finalists invited to a rigorous interview and to give a presentation to the panel of judges. Robbie submitted work from his Higher National Diploma (HND) project looking at diversification of an Aberdeenshire farming business, which focused on the provision of a ‘bed and breakfast service for cattle’.

Robbie who combines his studies in Aberdeen with running the family farm at Holm on the Orkney mainland, makes regular trips home during busy periods and is also able to keep an eye on his livestock by use of an app linking his smart phone to a camera in the shed allowing him to zoom in on the livestock. Talking to Robbie makes it abundantly clear that he spends a lot of time thinking about how to develop and expand his own business, which he’s hoping to do in the future by taking advantage of the Young Farmer and New Entrant schemes currently available.

As the winner of the Bronze award, Robbie was presented with a cheque for £600 before a sumptuous dinner held in the recently refurbished Farmers Club.

SRUC was also represented at the Pinnacle Awards by Craig McCulloch, a third year Rural Business Management degree student from the Ayr Campus, who presented on behalf of a group entry from the degree module on Rural Business Diversification which focused on production of distinctive Ayrshire potato vodka.

Caroline Daniel, Agriculture Programme Leader, said: “Both students presented their work extremely well and displayed a professional approach to the competition. They showed a good grasp of business issues and coped with the intense questioning of the judging panel at the interviews. They were excellent ambassadors for SRUC.”

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