The three finalists for the AgriScot Business Skills Competition have been announced.

The Business Skills competition is designed to encourage young people aged 18-25 to develop their farm and business management skills. The winner will be presented with a £1,000 cheque.

The finalists emerge from the recent qualifying heats; altogether, five competitors took part in the north regional heat and six in the south.

These regional heats were held on-farm, with competitors quizzed by the host farmers and independent judges to assess their practical farming expertise and business knowledge.

The first finalist is Emily Mosley, a Harper Adams graduate who originates from Derbyshire, but is now working as a farm administrator in Train.

The second is Ben McSporran, a third year BSc Agriculture student at SRUC Edinburgh who combines his studies with part-time work on farms near his Peeblesshire home farm.

Lastly, Stewart Shaw is the third finalist. Stewart is a partner in his family farming and contracting business in the Scottish Borders and a keen Scottish Association of Young Farmers Club (SAYFC) member.

[gallery ids="324993,324994"]

Heather Kerr, a lecturer at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), who coordinates the competition on behalf of AgriScot said it is great to have three finalists from different backgrounds this year.

“We have Ben, an SRUC student, Emily a Harper Adams graduate working in farm administration and Stewart who is a hands-on farmer and active SAYFC member,” she said.

“We are all delighted by this as we have always sought to encourage entrants from across rural Scotland.”

The three finalists emerged from stiff competition at the on-farm semi-finals, held courtesy of Tom Sanderson, Biggarshiels Mains, Biggar and Iain Wilson, Tulloch Farms, Laurencekirk.

“I know that the host farmers and our independent judges from the Royal Bank of Scotland - Emma Cowie (Laurencekirk) and Stuart Hamilton (Biggar) - had a very difficult job selecting these finalists.”

The three finalists will go on to compete against each other at AgriScot on February 9.