Agricultural advisor ‘breaks his duck’

Published Wednesday, 13th February 2019 in Research news

David Barnes receiving his honorary SRUC fellowship from SRUC Principal Wayne Powell (left) and SRUC Chairman Sandy Cumming (right) last year
David Barnes receiving his honorary SRUC fellowship from SRUC Principal Wayne Powell (left) and SRUC Chairman Sandy Cumming (right) last year

Agricultural advisor and Honorary Fellow David Barnes visited Scotland’s Rural College to talk to students about the Scottish Government’s future farm support policy.

The Scottish Government’s National Adviser on Agriculture Policy, who received an Honorary Fellowship from SRUC last November, also spoke about international trade rules and the implications for the EU, UK and Scotland, when he visited the Aberdeen campus to speak to distance learning postgraduate students studying Agricultural Professional Practice and Organic Farming.

He said: “Having had the privilege of being made an Honorary Fellow of SRUC in the autumn, I was delighted to ‘break my duck’ by delivering this session at Craibstone.

“Against the background of Brexit, it worries me how little most of us know about the World Trade Organisation and its rules, so we went through that in detail and then held some group work sessions on the possible direction of future farm policy.

“For me as a policymaker, it’s great to see the people who will shape the industry of tomorrow engaging with the policy agenda.”

George Hill, an engineer in the oil and gas industry who is studying for a Masters in Agricultural Professional Practice, described David’s talk as “exemplary”.

“The session provided a fantastic insight into the complexity and issues associated with Brexit and the potential impact it will have on the ground for farmers’ businesses, particularly with regards to international trade,” he said.

“David is a real fountain of knowledge and gave plenty of ‘food for thought’, which was evident in the level of engagement shown by the SRUC audience.

“With David’s direct interaction with the Scottish Government, and the influence his advice has, I cannot think of a better person to have provided such a talk. With the uncertainties of Brexit however; I do not envy his job!”

Visit the Organic Farming and Agricultural Professional Practice pages to find out more about SRUC’s part time, distance learning postgraduate courses.

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