Kayleigh Turner, BSc (Hons) Agriculture, Aberdeen

“I didn’t always want to go into agriculture as a full-time thing, as I didn’t realise there was a place like SRUC. I went to a careers appointment and was advised to go to an SRUC campus and see what I thought. I organised to go to Oatridge for a visit and I just knew then that’s the path I wanted to go down.”

Kayleigh Turner, 20, had always done what was needed, helping out on her aunt’s partner’s farm at home in Shetland whenever asked. Knowing that she was the kind of person who didn’t like to be kept at a desk, she chose a course that promised to let her get her hands dirty - a BSc in Agriculture. An open day at SRUC’s Oatridge campus was the clincher, and that’s where she studied for her first and second years, before transferring to Aberdeen.

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Across her studies, she enjoyed the variety of subjects and really valued the one-to-one approach offered by lecturers, finding it invaluable when trouble hit.

“At the start of my fourth year, I got an infection in my eye and lost the sight in it,” she said. “I found it quite challenging. In your final year you need to be at your best and I was struggling going to classes and not feeling well.

“I went through the whole process of getting extra time to complete. I was given the option to defer from my fourth year to next year, but in the end but I decided I was just going to push on through. I’m glad I did because it worked out fine in the end.”

It was during her last year that an award-winning idea came to her.

“We were on a study tour last year and on one of our visits a speaker talked about mobile abbatoirs in Poland which he thought might be beneficial for smaller producers in the UK. I researched mobile abattoirs and I spoke to the lady that runs the abattoir in Shetland.

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“Then I put together a rough plan, submitted it and waited for an interview.”

Her entry to SRUC’s Enterprise Challenge won her third place and £500, beating off more than thirty entries in total, and was cited as an innovative opportunity to address challenges in the rural meat industry.

Now that she has finished, she has taken up a role as Trials Officer with SRUC at its Aberdeen campus, but she still has the dream to start her business and make real change in the sector.