Congratulations to Scott Somerville and Sarah Allison of the Scottish Agricultural College, winners of Young Advocates for Agriculture 2012
Winners from Scottish Agricultural College with Tom Heap at the 2012 debate

Congratulations to Scott Somerville and Sarah Allison from the Scottish Agricultural College who won Young Advocates for Agriculture 2012. They are pictured with Tom Heap, Chairman of the Judging Panel and presenter on BBC's Countryfile.

HRH The Princess Royal speaking at Young Advocates for Agriculture 2012 on the importance of encouraging young people to talk about important issues in farming.

Young Advocates for Agriculture

Leading the debate in British Agriculture

Two students from the Scottish Agricultural College have won this year's Young Advocates for Agriculture in a keenly fought debating competition held at the Farmers & Fletchers Livery Hall on Thursday 4th October. Presenting the prizes, HRH The Princess Royal, expressed her admiration for all the young agriculturalists taking part in the debates and encouraged them to continue their interest in current farming issues and the development of their public speaking skills.

SAC's Scott Somerville and Sarah Allison successfully opposed the motion "This house believes that the highest standards of animal welfare are incompatible with intensive farming methods" arguing that recent changes in animal welfare legislation and modern farming methods clearly demonstrate the compatibility of intensive farming and high standards of animal welfare. Their use of humour, rhetoric and carefully researched statistics won them the Young Advocates for Agriculture trophy, a cash prize and a day's media training with Tom Heap, presenter on BBC's Countryfile. They will be joined on the media training day by Georgia Antoniou and Jake Pickering from the Royal Agricultural College, runners-up in the competition.

Scott Somerville and Jake Pickering were awarded an additional prize as the Oxford Farming Conference Council invited the best two individual debaters to act as seconds in the prestigious OFC Debate taking place in January 2013.

An audience of industry leaders, farmers and agricultural students was clearly entertained by the lively debates and speeches from the floor. Judges Tom Heap, Guy Smith, Adrian Ivory and Charlotte Flint, a member of last year's winning team, listened carefully as motions focussing on the family farm, genetically modified crops and The Single Farm Payment were also debated. Speaking on behalf of the Judges, Tom Heap, noted both the oratory skills and the ability of the young agriculturalists to take on complex industry issues and present persuasive arguments.

Established to encourage new voices in agriculture and give young people a platform to debate the current issues that will affect the future of the food and farming industry, Young Advocates for Agriculture is the brainchild of Jim Williams from The National Farm Research Unit and David Bolton from David Bolton Partners. Young Advocates for Agriculture is sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Farmers, the Oxford Farming Conference and Dow AgroSciences.

Principally sponsored by:
Sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Farmers
Also sponsored by:
The National Farm Research Unit David Bolton Partners
The Oxford Farming Conference Dow AgroSciences

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