TWO SCOTS – Ranald Angus and John Gray – have been awarded 2021 Nuffield Farming Scholarships, alongside 18 other recruits from across the UK.

Every year the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust offers 20 individuals the opportunity to research topics of interest in either farming, food, horticulture or rural industries, and successful applicants spend no less than eight weeks somewhere in the world furthering their knowledge and understanding of their chosen study topic, and on return submit a written report with their findings.

Hailing from Thurso on the northern tip of the mainland, Mr Angus is a partner in his family’s farming business, where he oversees the arable production on a mixed enterprise of beef cattle, sheep, cereals, and forestry.

Mr Angus believes that farmers have an important role to play in combating climate change, and will use his scholarship to explore the benefits of soil carbon sequestration. His topic 'Bridging the carbon divide' will delve into marketing soil sequestered carbon for economic, agronomic and climate regeneration.

Mr Gray is the managing director of Angus Soft Fruits based in Carnoustie, and has ambitious plans to expand the business internationally whilst still ensuring that growers get a fair share of the value chain. He is curious to explore why UK farmers and growers take the majority of risk within the supply chain but receive the smallest reward. Key to his study – 'Fresh produce supply chain excellence - growing our share of the value chain' – will be understanding how the UK industry can ensure its economic sustainability by maximising its share of product value.

 Mr Angus and Mr Gray are part of a group of 20 scholars from across UK farming and rural industries and will seek guidance from industry leaders, experts and pioneers as they undertake their studies.

“Following an unprecedented and challenging year for UK agriculture, we are pleased to announce our 2021 Scholars,” says Nuffield farming director, Mike Vacher: “They have been carefully selected for both their passion for their chosen topic, and for their potential as future leaders within UK agriculture.

“Our 2021 scholars have selected a range of topics that span the breadth of the industry, including livestock, soft fruits, aquaculture and workforce diversity. A Nuffield scholarship is a life changing experience, and will no doubt prove invaluable to both Scholar businesses and to the industry as a whole," he continued.

 “On behalf of Nuffield Farming, I wish the 2021 Scholars the very best of luck as they prepare to start their studies. We are excited to hear more about the knowledge and experiences you gain over the course of your journeys. In these ever-changing times, what you bring back with you will play a vital role in driving UK agriculture forward.”

The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland have jointly funded Mr Gray's scholarship alongside the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers. "There were a number of very strong Scottish candidates put forward for selection this year, which bodes well for the future of our industry," said RHASS chairman Bill Gray. "John is a first-class candidate and is a leader of a very important business in Scotland.

“This year has really highlighted how challenging the soft fruit sector is in regard to supply and staffing, as well as the complexities of post-Brexit trade. We are confident that John's planned scholarship travels will be enlightening, and we wish him the very best of luck," he concluded.