A TEENAGER from Hawick has been crowned learner of the year.

The Lantra Scotland Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards recognises the cream of the crop from students across the country.

Seeing off strong competition was 19-year-old Amy Park, who was named joint overall winner as well as the agricultural student of the year.

The awards ceremony took place at Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Dunblane Hydro last Thursday.

Amy has been doing a Modern Apprenticeship in Mixed Farming on her family’s farm through Borders College.

She has always had an interest in livestock farming and her father and grandfather are both well-known for breeding top quality Texel and Suffolk sheep.

Amy hopes to eventually take over the tenancy of the farm and continue in her family’s footsteps.

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted to win these awards.

"This has come off the back of a lot of hard work, early mornings and dedication to my job and I’d like to thank my dad for all his support and my tutors at Borders College who have all been inspirational to me.”

Amy’s nominator was Andrew Johnson from Borders College.

He said: “These awards are richly deserved.

"Amy is a very driven young woman who is not afraid of hard work.

"She was the only female in both the NC class and her Modern Apprentice year, but this did not deter her.

"She has gone on to show everyone what tremendous potential she brings to the agriculture industry, so we’re delighted to see her win tonight!”

The 2019 Learner of the Year Awards were organised by Lantra Scotland, the sector skills council for the land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries.

Host and main speaker for the evening was well-known Perthshire farmer and stand-up comedian, Jim Smith.

According to Liz Barron-Majerik, Director of Lantra Scotland, the awards are key to recognising and celebrating the achievements of trainees within Scotland’s rural sector, as well as encouraging employers to invest in the next generation of talent.

She continued: “Our awards highlight the incredible individuals who work within Scotland’s land-based, aquaculture and environmental conservation industries as well as the many rewarding careers available.

“I know our judges were very impressed again with the quality of the nominations, but this year they really couldn’t separate the two top learners. So for the first time ever, we have two overall joint winners, Amy and Janis. I’d like to congratulate them both and all the rest of our finalists too.

“We’re of course very grateful to have the support of a range of people and organisations who make holding an event like this possible, including our main sponsor Skills Development Scotland, and Aberdeenshire Council, ABP Food Group, British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association, Countryside Learning Scotland, DRB Youngstock, Elspeth Watson, George Linton Memorial Trust, Marine Scotland, Royal Highland & Agricultural Society Scotland, Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, Scottish Land and Estates, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Qualifications Authority, Scottish Salmon Company, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation and SRUC."