On January 16, a total of 16 SAYFC Scholars presented their final presentations as part of this year's Cultivating Leaders Programme.

They took to the stage in front of family, friends, and mentors to present their final presentation.

Marking the conclusion of a four-month (six session) leadership and business training programme.

Throughout the programme scholars met and learned from industry experts and politicians, visited successful businesses, and applied these experiences to their personal development and future plans.

This Year’s Scholars:

Beth Noble- Kinneff YFC

Bruce Patullo- Forfar JAC

Douglas Webster- Bower YFC

Emma Gray- Peeblesshire JAC

Fraser Graham- Crossroads YFC

Gayle Allan- Avondale YFC

Holly Hume- Bankfoot JAC

James Fleming- Avondale YFC

Jordan Barclay- Strathmore JAC

Lauren Nelson- Lower Nithsdale YFC

Lucy Orr- West Fife YFC

Meghan Carson- Stewartry YFC

Ross Campbell- Machars YFC

Samantha Haining- Thornhill YFC

Zoe Burgoyne- Lower Nithsdale YFC

Sponsored by Scottish Enterprise, Henry Plumb Foundation and the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), the course was once again coordinated by Heather Wildman of Saviour Associates.

Heather shared her thoughts on what it means for her and the candidates to be involved in the programme:

“Cultivating Leaders is a course designed to stretch you, to take you out of your comfort zone.

“To engage and work with some of the best industry specialists in Scotland, solicitors, land agents, bank managers, and accountants.

“Learning hands on with practical tips, examples, role play and advice to enable them to step forward and take on more roles, responsibilities and leadership either within their own businesses or wider clubs and organisations.

“This group are a broad mix of ages, backgrounds and industries and they really stepped up to the challenge and have been fantastic to work with.

Heather continues: “The highlight for me is always the last day when they each give a 7-minute presentation, this is personal to them and no two are ever the same.

“I am so proud of them all, it’s a brilliant programme and I am delighted to be a part of it along with the other delivery partners, Galbraith, Azets, Royal Bank of Scotland & Paul Burgess.”

She summarises: “I look forward to watching them continue to grow and develop and to possibly be our next industry leaders.”

Jordan Barclay one of this year's scholars, described the impact of the course on her career plans and ambitions:

“Going into Cultivating Leaders I had heard stories about how it can really change your life and your thinking about it but I never realised how much of an influence it would have for myself.

“Starting the course, I had expectations around my learning such as succession, finance and staff management, however it exceeded all of those.

“Being able to learn about myself more but also business aspects of agriculture really set me up for being in a good place going forward to work towards my goals.”

Jordan adds: “The course cemented my thought process in regard to changing my career towards agriculture and the course has given me not only the skills and the confidence to do so but also allowed me to look at the transferable skill set I have from my current job.”

SAYFC expresses gratitude to those involved in the program including sponsors, coordinators, delivery partners, industry experts, speakers, hosts and staff.

Their efforts have helped the Association's commitment to providing young people across Scotland with opportunities to develop, learn and build for their future.