THREE young agriculturalists will head off to Australia to attend the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth conference this autumn courtesy of the Next Generation fund administered by the Royal Highland Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS).
Michael Halliday, Claire Hodge and Barclay Hamilton will benefit from access to an international network of agricultural experts and learn about the latest farming developments in other countries.
Halliday, from Croftjane farm near Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, is currently one of the vice-chairmen of the Scottish Tenant Farmers’ Association and he has previously been on Scottish Enterprise’s rural leadership course.
After gaining a BSc in Agriculture at Aberdeen University, he learned about New Zealand farming methods working with a Kiwi farming family. Currently a beef farmer, he also has several years’ experience as a dairy farmer.
Hodge is a technical executive for the Potato Council based in Edinburgh, helping to create community groups to share knowledge and encourage co-operation. She also recently supported the seed and export team of the Potato Council at Fruit Logistica in Berlin. She grew up on Lemington Farm near Eyemouth in Berwickshire.
Hamilton, who helps run his family farm and business, Templehall in Pencaitland, East Lothian, said: “I believe that continued professional development is key to the growth of Scotland’s agricultural businesses within the world market.
“I would like to use opportunities like this conference to bring knowledge and ideas back to our family business and to ensure that Scotland’s well-recognised place at agriculture’s top table continues long into the future.”