Two Ayr students were part of a team from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) which won a UK-wide agricultural competition after COVID-19 restrictions allowed them to enter online for the first time.

Debbie Dawkins and Olivia Kelly, who study Rural Business Management at SRUC’s Riverside campus in Ayr, won the Institute of Agricultural Management’s (IAgrM) Farm Planner competition, with their teammates.

The pair – together with three students from SRUC Craibstone in Aberdeen – had to come up with a proposal about how to improve the business of a farm in England, and take advantage of extra land.

Debbie, 34, said: “Being part of the winning team for the IAgrM Farm Planner competition has been an honour.

“It has allowed us to show our passion for conservation and environmental protection through unique and innovative entrepreneurial management and marketing strategies.”

Olivia, 27, added: “I was really grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a determined and forward thinking team.

“It was important for us to align the proposed estate changes with their core objectives and I feel we emphasised this throughout our plans whilst showing in-depth research and consideration for the future of agricultural businesses.”