Strutt & Parker is developing its rural services in the north-east of Scotland with the appointment of a farms consultant in Banchory. Young farmer Harriet Ross is returning to her Aberdeenshire roots after working in Strutt & Parker’s Perth office for the past year.
Harriet – who recently passed her BASIS exams and is now a qualified agronomist – will provide a comprehensive range of farming advice to rural businesses in the area. She undertakes all aspects of farm consulting, specialising in environmental applications, crop production, diversification, grant applications and whole farm business reviews. She is FACTS- and FBAASS-qualified, able to undertake the FAS integrated land management plans and associated business work. Having just received her BASIS accreditations, she can also offer an independent agronomy service to local arable farmers. Additionally, she will be working with the land management and specialist telecoms teams, adding a new strand of expertise to complement their rural consultancy service.
Harriet, 27, grew up on an arable farm near Drumbreck and continues to run the equestrian livery business there. Additionally, she and her partner Ben Lowe (30), have just been awarded a Short Limited Duration Tenancy (SLDT) at Newseat and Ellis of Drumbreck, a 400-acre farm near Pitmedden. She will continue to work full-time for Strutt & Parker in conjunction with the tenancy, which has been granted by the Aberdeen Endowments Trust.
Harriet said: “I am so delighted to be returning home to Aberdeenshire. Our farming department already advises farmers throughout Scotland but this move means I can now build on our regional consultancy offering and provide a full range of advice to farmers across the north-east from our local office in Banchory.”
She added: “Ben and I are very excited and grateful to be given an opportunity to start farming in our own right. It is a dream come true for us. I believe the practical hands-on experience I will gain as a new entrant farmer will inform my consultancy role for Strutt & Parker and improve the advice I can offer.”
Mary Munro, head of farming at Strutt & Parker in Scotland, said: “Harriet is an exceptional farming consultant. Her move to the Banchory office will be a huge boost to the Strutt & Parker team, expanding the rural services already offered by the office. Working with the Scottish farming teams in Inverness and Perth, Harriet will be well placed to advise existing clients in the north-east and further develop our farm consultancy in the region and across Scotland.
"Our farming team works with Scottish clients wherever they may be but we can now offer our farming expertise from bases in Perth, Inverness and Banchory which will help us address clients’ needs at a regional level. In these times of uncertainty in the agricultural sector, we think this will be welcomed by farmers looking for well-informed local advice from industry experts.
“Harriet and Ben’s successful tender for the SLDT is a major achievement for a young couple. Harriet is a very impressive young farmer and I am delighted to have someone of her calibre on the team. Her practical experience on the farm will add to her knowledge and skills, helping her strengthen an already excellent service. She is an asset not just to our farming team but also to the Banchory office and to customers in the area.”