Published Wednesday, 17th October 2012 in Study at SRUC news
Two SRUC students have triumphed at the Young Advocates for Agriculture debating competition in London.
studying Green Technology and Scott Somerville, studying Applied Animal
Science, were pitted against teams from Newcastle University, the Royal
Agricultural College, Easton College, Bishop Burton College, Aberystwyth
University and the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs.
plethora of talent on display Scott and Sarah were quietly confident.
really sure what to expect,” Sarah said, “but as we’ve both had a lot of speech
making experience with the Young Farmers’ Club we weren’t too nervous.”
experience stood them in good stead. Sarah and Scott, who are both based at
Riverside campus in Ayr, had the summer to prepare to oppose the motion: ‘The
house believes that the highest standards of animal welfare are incompatible
with intensive farming methods’. They had thirty minutes to lay out their case
against Bishop Burton College before awaiting the judges’ verdict.
“We were able
to create a good argument, covering all the major points to ensure we did the subject
justice.” Scott explained.
the importance of content Sarah stressed that: “With good simple speechmaking in
the end it is not what you say, but how you say it.”
Tom Heap, farmers Adrian Ivory and Guy Smith, and one of last year’s winners
Charlotte Flint had the unenviable task of judging the debate. While the
standard was very high it was Sarah and Scott who impressed the most with their
confidence, humour and their ability to deliver their argument without
reference to notes.
importance of being able to communicate agricultural issues clearly was
stressed by HRH Princess Anne who presented the winners with their trophy.
She said: “How
the industry's relationship will stand up with the public and how you explain
it is important. Contentious arguments are often quite simple and need to be
kept that way so people aren't distracted.”
Royal was highly praised by both SRUC students. “She was lovely, really down to
earth” Sarah said: “She wasn’t worried about protocol, she just wanted to get
to know us.”
Scott also won £300 and Scott was chosen as the 2nd in the annual
Oxford Farming Conference’s debate in the Oxford Union in January.
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