Jack shows his skills

"Fergus Ewing presents Jack Cooper with his Business Skills certificate at AgriScot"

An SRUC student has picked up a £1000 prize as the winner of this year’s AgriScot Business Skills competition.

Jack Cooper, who is in his fourth year of an Agriculture degree at the Craibstone campus in Aberdeen, collected his certificate and cheque from Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy.

Sponsored by Dairymaster UK Ltd and supported by SRUC and the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC), the annual competition saw Jack up against fellow SRUC students Sarah Hodge (Edinburgh) and Martin Flood, who studies at Ayr, in this year’s final.

The 22-year-old, who lives in Luss, combines his studies with part-time work on a local farm.

In entering the competition, Jack hoped to further develop his business management skills to add to extensive on-farm experience in both the arable and livestock sectors. His long-term goal is to work as a farm manager.

The final saw competitors judged on the task of assessing the value and relevance of an innovative product or service showcased at AgriScot. They had to make a presentation on their assessment to a judging panel that asked them a range of questions on business skills, topical agricultural issues and assess how they are developing their CV.

This year, the product assessed was AHV Agri-Pharma, a new solution in the fight against pathogenic bacteria in dairy cows (antibiotic free).

The judging panel consisted of George Baikie of SAC Consulting, part of SRUC, Ian Hope of Galbraiths and John Kinnaird of AgriScot.

Jack said: “Making the final was great. I’d definitely recommend the experience, it’s added to my skills and helped highlight changes and opportunities in the industry.”

Heather Kerr, SRUC lecturer and Business Skills co-ordinator, said: “I was very impressed by the standard of the candidates this year, and it shows that there’s a really bright future for the industry.”

To find out more about the AgriScot Business Skills competition, email

Posted by SRUC on 21/11/2019

Tags: Alumni, Awards, Business Management
Categories: Student and Alumni