Harriet Ross, 27, grew up on her family’s 162-hectare (400-acre) arable farm in Aberdeenshire.
Still involved with the family business, she and her partner, Ben, were recently awarded a tenancy on a 162ha (400-acre) farm nearby.
Farm: I have always loved farming and the opportunity to start farming in our own right is a dream come true.
It is a steep learning curve and we had very little time to organise ourselves before harvest, but we are very grateful for my dad’s mentorship and the support from our families.
We are predominantly an arable business due to our other work commitments and will use some local contractors to spread the workload.
We are passionate about soil health and sustainable farming and we understand the importance of livestock and how they benefit an arable system.
Therefore, we have just taken delivery of 1,000 nursery pigs on a bed and breakfast contract.
This will use the existing sheds, provide cashflow and allow us to spread organic manure onto the fields.
We will be waking up even earlier from here on in, feeding and bedding the pigs before work, but I would not swap it for anything.
Opportunity: Much is said about the obstacles faced by young farmers. However, we have been given the opportunity of a lifetime and I would encourage anyone to follow their dream.
Preparing a tender, the associated business plan and budgets was stressful and not easy. However, we secured bank funding at an early stage which gave us confidence, and the feedback received from previous applications strengthened our tender.
All our previous tenders were unsuccessful and although this was disappointing at the time, it was a very good learning experience.
I would urge other young farmers to make as many connections as possible in the sector, not just farmers but also solicitors, bankers and land agents.
They are likely to be the first to hear of new opportunities, so put yourself on their radar.
Day job: My role as a farming consultant allows me to visit farms throughout Scotland.
All farmers have different ways of running their businesses and I learn so much from them.
I am involved in all aspects of farm consulting, specialising in crop production, environmental applications, diversification, grant applications and whole farm business reviews.
I am Farm Business Adviser Accreditation Scheme for Scotlandqualified, able to undertake the Farm Advisory Service integrated land management plans and associated business work.
Having just received my BASIS accreditations in addition to FACTS, I can now also offer an independent agronomy service to local farmers.