19th June 2015

Bright Sparks Award Finalists Announced

The three finalists in Scottish Farming’s debut “Bright Sparks” awards have been unveiled.

Young people involved in agriculture in Scotland were offered the chance to win up to £1000 to develop an innovative idea, in the joint initiative by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), Campbell Dallas Chartered Accountants and the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC).

The trio of finalist Bright Sparks – Colin Ferguson, James Frame and Laura Strang - were announced by Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment at the Royal Highland Show today, as he unveiled his vision for the future of Scottish agriculture.

The award, open to young people under 30 years old, is aimed at encouraging young people to develop “bright spark” ideas which could be of benefit to the Scottish livestock industry.

The ideas the three finalists impressed the judges with are very wide-ranging. Laura Strang (21) of Mains Farm, East Kilbride is keen to start producing daily “vlogs” (video logs) of beef and sheep farm life to help promote the farm’s fresh meat business to consumers.

James Frame (23) of Birks Farm, Carluke would like to develop a tractor immobiliser idea to reduce the vulnerability of tractors to theft. Colin Ferguson (26) of Ravenstone Mains, Whithorn has an idea to develop a “stone barrel” loader mounted piece of equipment to lift stones from cultivated ground.

The judging panel reviewed the entries based on: evidence of innovative idea/s to improve efficiency and/or profitability of the business; and the passion and enthusiasm shown by entrant. Where relevant, the judges will also be looking to ensure evidence of a high level of health and welfare for farmers and livestock.

Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, welcomed the initiative shown by the three finalists.

“This award really showcases the fantastic innovation which exists in our industry and my congratulations go to these young people for their enthusiasm, passion and ability to think out of the box. “It is a brilliant example of the kind of ideas and inspiration that could take our industry forward, that we want to hear about over the coming weeks and months as we discuss the future of Scottish agriculture.”



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