Awards recognise diverse careers of former SRUC students

Jenny McKerr won the Diversification Award for her first generation agritourism business

The boss of a national charity, a pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle breeder and the founder of a social enterprise company are among the winners in the Alumni Entrepreneur Network awards, organised by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

Barry Fisher, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, shared the Alumni Champion Award with Sally Williams, of Clackmae Farm in Earlston, who has taken on several high-profile rural leadership roles including as National Chair of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs and Chair of the Oxford Farming Conference.

John Elliot, of Rawburn Aberdeen Angus Genetics, won the Innovation Award for his breeding programme at Roxburgh Mains farm, and farmer Donald Fraser, who alongside his wife Joanna runs Farm Ness - a plate-to-gate experience including a farm shop and takeaway - on the banks of Loch Ness, won the New Entrant Award.

Reuben Chesters, founder of Locavore - a social enterprise working to build better local food systems, won the Environmental Sustainability Award and Jenny McKerr, who runs a distillery, farm shop, farm accommodation and lambing experience on a beef and sheep farm in South Lanarkshire with her husband Stephen, won the Diversification Award.

Jenny said: “We are absolutely delighted to win the Diversification Award. Two decades ago, at SRUC’s former Auchincruive campus, we were full of ambition and now we are creating a sustainable, first generation agritourism business. It’s great to have the hard graft recognised.”

Bridgit Edmonstone, Alumni Relations Manager, said: “I want to wish the winners of the 2023 Alumni Entrepreneur Network awards our congratulations.

“Not only have they written their own success stories, but they offer inspiration for our future alumni and truly embody the spirit of the natural economy, reminding us there are so many examples of achievement amidst the global challenges we currently face.”

Each of the winners will receive their awards individually before being invited to attend an Alumni Entrepreneur Network Breakfast at SRUC’s stand at the Royal Highland Show on 23 June.

For more information about the Alumni Entrepreneur Network visit: or email:

Posted by SRUC on 25/05/2023

Tags: Alumni, Awards
Categories: Student and Alumni