An agricultural lecturer at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has been highly commended in an annual award to find the most inspirational young person.
Wallace Currie, who teaches at SRUC’s Barony campus, was put forward for the third annual ‘Inspirational Young Person Award’ which aims to highlight the contribution young people make to Scotland’s food and drink businesses as well as the importance of the sector to the wider economy.
Set up by commercial insurer NFU Mutual, in partnership with industry body Scotland Food & Drink, it is open to 16 to 26-year-olds who own, work or study in the food and drink sector.
Having originally intended to select a top three, the judges found the quality of this year’s applications too hard to separate, and ultimately decided to recognise first, second and four highly commended winners.
In his spare time, Wallace – who started working as a lecturer at SRUC last year -promotes the benefits of sourcing local products via his Facebook page Rural2Kitchen.
His films about the environment and food, food miles and the challenges facing agriculture have also been shown on BBC The Social.
“I have a passion for food and farming and how we get from the farm to the fork,” the 24-year-old said. “I couldn’t believe I was nominated for this award. I was very humbled when I was told I had been highly commended.”
Wallace graduated with a degree in Agriculture from SRUC’s Ayr campus and then did an MSc in Food Security at the University of Glasgow.
He got a graduate job with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, before being offered a position as a lecturer at SRUC.
As most of his first year of teaching ended up being online, he returned home to his parents’ farm on Arran and used his social media experience to start filming his farming activities so students would have some practical content.
His efforts paid off when he was nominated for the Online Teacher of the Year award by his students.
“I absolutely love my work,” he said. “It’s my dream job.”