The Farmers Club Pinnacle Awards are now in their 26th year and are open to submissions from all full time students studying a subject related to the rural economy. Rewarding excellence in business management, tutors are encouraged to submit coursework from students who have undertaken practical business projects that have developed innovative, competitive and realistic business strategies that also meet lands wider environmental management requirements.
Alex Crawley of the Royal Agricultural University took the first prize of £2,000 with his proposal for agri-food start up ‘Grazing Management’. Using hardy native breeds, Alex’s proposal was management of environmentally sensitive conservation land unfit for commercial grazing to maximise the ecological benefits. He also plans to produce slow matured beef from his extensively grazed cattle for the premium market. The judges were impressed with the plan and the depth of his evaluation of the project. They felt that he had created a business plan that clearly identified a gap in the market whilst also keeping an eye on evolving policy around environmental land management.
A second prize of £1,000 went to Sarah Morgan, a student at Harper Adam’s University who had thoroughly evaluated a tourism diversification opportunity around the strengths and objectives of a South Shropshire farm. A third prize of £600 was given to Ian Buchanan of the Scottish Rural University College (SRUC) for his viability study of a rare breed, free range pork enterprise based in Fife.
Registration of interest from tutors should be submitted by October 2019 for the 2020 Pinnacle Awards. If you are interested in receiving more information on this or the outcome of this year’s awards, please contact Gina Monckton.