GEMMA Waugh, a fourth year BSc Agricultural Bioscience student from Closeburn, near Dumfries, has recently taken part in a 10-week placement with the Ayr office of SAC consulting.

Gemma, who studies at SRUC’s Ayr Campus, is one of three SRUC students who gained work experience in SAC Consulting offices this summer.

Gemma found the work interesting with lots of variety. She explained: “I have been out on farms taking soil samples for analysis as well as assisting at monitor farm meetings and other events. I have also been talking to farmers to help with completing nutrient budgets and slurry store grant applications.

“The placement was really enjoyable and over the 10 weeks I learned a lot and got to put into practice various aspects of what I was taught in the classroom.”

Senior agricultural consultant with SAC consulting based in Ayr, Raymond Crerar, said: “This year we had 14 students competing for the three places funded with bursaries from the SRUC Trust which also helps support the students in their final year.

“We have a number of full time staff in our 23 Scottish offices who started this way. It is a chance for students to learn what being a consultant involves and for us see their potential.

“The students are very helpful during their placements and carry out a range of tasks in the field and in the office – from soil and silage sampling to helping with completing nutrient management plans and grant scheme work as well as being involved in farmer meetings and events. All our consultants enjoy the students’ youthful enthusiasm.”