SRUC Barony Students Told to “Be Bold and Take Risks” in Their Careers


Students gathered for the annual awards ceremony at the Barony Campus of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) were told to “be bold and take risks” in their chosen career paths.

Guest speaker, leading animal scientist, Professor Mike Coffey, congratulated the students on their efforts and spoke of opportunities that would arise throughout their careers. “Take advantage of these opportunities. Use what you have learned to learn some more. Decisions can always be changed – be bold and take risks.”

Before handing out the prizes and certificates, SRUC’s Professor Coffey told the students of his own career trajectory – and how it doesn’t always go according to plan. He described how as a young boy passing a farm on his bicycle, he decided he would like to experience some farm work.

He worked on the farm in his summer holidays, then decided to go to University and get a degree. He changed career slightly when an opportunity came up as a computer programmer with the British Friesian Cattle Society, which he enjoyed for a few years – before venturing into research at Scottish Agricultural College, and progressed into genetic research into livestock, what he is doing now at SRUC.

The gathering of students, proud parents, partners and friends at Barony Campus had been welcomed by Alistair Marshall, Vice Chair of the SRUC Board. Professor Dave Roberts, SRUC’s Dean in Dumfries, outlined recent events at SRUC and its commitment to the regional delivery of services.

Senior Tutor Julie Parker reviewed a highly successful and active year by staff and students at the campus. She told students: “Congratulations on your academic success which will hold you in good stead in the competitive employment market and progression to higher education if that is your chosen career path. We also celebrate and highly regard the life skills you have developed whilst studying with us.”

Over twenty prizes were awarded to students who made particular accomplishments, progress or contribution to their course with prize winners nominated by tutors from each department of SRUC’s Barony Campus.

The award winners were:

Carrs Billington Award – Most improved student in Agriculture – Zachary MacDonald

Novartis Award – Best practical student – Craig Fleming   

Kilco International Dairy Trophy – Best dairy student – Alistair Birse       

Alisdair Clark Memorial Award – Best stockperson – Murray Waugh      

Robbie Weir Memorial Quaich – Contribution to student life – Matthew Murray   

Smith Trophy – Best trainee in Agriculture – Nathan Smith

Ishbel Cup & College Quaich – Top Student in Agriculture – Thomas Hamilton

Bard Award & College Quaich – Top ANA student – Nicola Provan        

Bard Award – Best Practical Animal Nursing Assistant Student – Stephanie Nicholson

Watson Prize – Best practical NC student – Katherine McDermot

Shield & College Quaich – Top NC student – Phoebe Cagle         

Scottish Oils Shield – Top Introduction student – Luke Houston    

CLAAS Prize – NC Engineering – Grant Thomson 

Terry O’Neill Trophy – Most promising Engineering trainee – Ritchie Glen           

BAGMA Shield & College Quaich – Top NC student – Ritchie Glen        

Robert Beamish Memorial Shield – The student who put the most in to the Certificate in Forestry Course – Lee McIver

Hand Tool Tom Award – Hardest working practical student – Euan Robinson

Yerburgh Trophy & College Quaich – Top student – Martin Roy

Crown Estates Cup – The best chainsaw student – Rachael Crowson

Inspiration Award – Phoebe Cagle

Barony Sports & Social Club Award – Participation in student experience – Gemma Currie

The ceremony was closed by a vote of thanks by Adam Wardrop, Programme Leader for Agriculture.


Photo caption: Back L-R: Ritchie Glen, Matthew Murray, Jack Goodfellow, Craig Fleming, Thomas Hamilton, Alistair Birse, Zachary MacDonald

Front L-R: Gemma Currie, Martin Roy, Julie Parker, Professor Dave Roberts, Professor Mike Coffey, Alistair Marshall, Murray Waugh, Phoebe Cagle, Katherine McDermott


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