AGRISCOT'S Business Skills competition has named its four finalists, who will now go head-to-head at next week's event to compete for the top spot.

The finalists are: Lyndsey Allen, who is from a family farm in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, who is currently in her final year of the BSc Agriculture course at SRUC Ayr. Her goal on graduating is to become a ruminant nutritionist; Andrew McGregor, a dairy farmer from Carluke, and an agriculture graduate from SRUC Edinburgh, who, after college, worked on farms in New Zealand, before returning home to the family farm, during which time he has participated in the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation. He is active within the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs, and is the current holder of their Member of the Year title; Kerry Cartwright, who is an agricultural student from Invergordon, in her third year of the BSc Agriculture course at SRUC Aberdeen, which she combines with duties as the campus officer for the student association; and Sarah Mowat, who is a farm administrator for John Scott, Fearn Farm, Ross-shire. Originally from Orkney, she is an honours graduate from the Rural Business Management course at SRUC Aberdeen, and is very active in the SAYFC, currently holding both secretary and treasurer positions within the organisation.

Applicants to the competition entered by submitting their CV, and by writing an essay which responded to the statement: "Sound financial planning and understanding of business accounts are even more crucial in the new political and trade framework that Brexit is bringing."

Competitors were then narrowed down and shortlisted before they were invited to compete at an on-farm semi-final at the end of October, which produced the four who will gather at AgriScot next Wednesday, November 15. There the finalists will be tasked with evaluating a new product being launched at the event, and will make a presentation on their assessment to a judging panel who will also ask them a range of questions on business skills, topical agricultural issues and assess how they are developing their CV.

The judging panel will be chaired by James Buchanan, of SAC Consulting, who will be joined by Ian Hope, of Galbraiths, and John Kinnaird, of AgriScot.

Agriculture Programme Leader at SRUC Edinburgh, and competition organiser, Dr Bill Dingwall, commented: “With Brexit looming the competition to date has shown that young people within or just about to enter the industry are acutely aware of the need to have good business skills and I am sure we will have a very worthy winner from amongst the four finalists.”

As well as industry acclaim, the winner will receive £1000 prize money.