Industry champion Luke at St Cyrus nature reserve

Despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, we've been working closely with our Industry Champions, helping them to prepare for their roles promoting Scotland's rural industries. Here are some of the things they've been doing over the last couple of months.

BBC Scotland’s Landward featured the talents of champions Erica Taylor, Jakob Eunson and Andrew Dixon earlier this year (Episode 5), sharing what they were doing in lockdown. This included: taking cattle to market, helping neighbours with farm work, lifting carrots, planting potatoes, sowing spring barley, servicing machinery before harvest and preparing organic Shetland meat for sale. They also appeared later in the year (Episode 12) with updates from Andrew in the Borders and bought cattle settling in, then Jakob on Shetland on finishing lambing and the last calf of the season being born (as well as the weather). Erica in Fife also updated the nation on what’s been happening on farm since her last video, including planting broccoli, irrigating potatoes, spraying before cereal harvest and harvest. You can watch Landward here.

We provided training about unconscious bias to support our champions in their role. Unconscious biases can occur all around us in everyday life, but when it comes to careers it’s even more important to be aware of them. If other people have pre-conceptions about our sector, our champions can recognise them and help ensure that career influencers and young people are aware that there is a path for everyone within our sector.

Some of our champions supported the #NoWrongPath social media campaign when the SQA exam results came out in August, promoting their own pathways and that there is no wrong career path. Organised by Developing the Young Workforce, this campaign aims to provide inspiration and reassurance to young people receiving their exam results.

Champions Isla Campbell, Jack Burton, Luke Taylor and Finulla McGregor, have been busy starring in a series of careers videos with stand-up farmer Jim Smith, and the resulting films will be having their world premieres soon.