24th November 2014

Search is on for Scottish Farming’s Young Bright Sparks

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

The new award, open to young people under 30 years old, was launched at the SAYFC’s first Rural Affairs and Agriculture Conference which took place at the weekend. The initiative is aimed at encouraging young people to develop “bright spark” ideas which could be of benefit to the Scottish livestock industry.

“This initiative is aimed at showcasing the innovation, passion and commitment to Scottish farming shown by the young people who are part of our industry,” said Jim McLaren, QMS Chairman.

“Our aim is to attract a wide range of entrants of varying ages across Scotland and we look forward to receiving entries where the applicants have clearly thought ‘outside the box’ to improve efficiency or profitability which could in some way benefit the business they are involved in and potentially the wider industry.”

SAYFC’S National Chairman Laura Fleming commented: “We are thrilled to be involved in the new ‘Bright Sparks’ competition working with QMS and Campbell Dallas.

“It is important we support and enhance our members who have innovative ideas and could, in time, play a key role in agriculture, be that at local or national level. Whether it is a marketing idea for a farm business, a piece of technology, physical object or adaptation of something already in the market all ideas will be carefully considered and evaluated. Good Luck!”

Andy Ritchie, Head of Agriculture with Campbell Dallas Chartered Accountants, said the firm - which has 200 staff working in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Perth and Stirling - was delighted to be supporting the award.

“Campbell Dallas is committed to helping businesses in the Scottish agricultural industry thrive and developing innovative opportunities is a key aspect of that. We look forward to being part of this award to encourage young people to have the confidence to develop their ideas.”

Applicants are being asked to enter by sending up to 200 words about their “Bright Spark” idea with the option of a supporting picture. Alternatively, they can enter by creating a short video (of no more than two minutes) explaining why their idea should win the award.

The judging panel will review 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 the entrant. Where relevant, the judges will also be looking to ensure evidence of a high level of health and welfare for farmers and livestock.

The closing date for applications is 27 March 2015 and entries should be sent to info@qmscotland.co.uk. The winner will be announced in June 2015.

an application form for the QMS Bright Spark Award 2014/15 is available on the right hand side - further information can also be found on the SAYFC website  www.sayfc.org

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