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A very successful Royal Highland Show for Hutton science

Standing room only at Hutton RHS marquee (c) James Hutton Institute
“We have raised our profile and activities once again across a wide range of stakeholders gaining new contacts and leads to follow up”

It was another brilliant Royal Highland Show (21-24 June 2018) for the James Hutton Institute, with a steady stream of visitors of all ages to the Hutton marquee including farmers, families, schoolchildren and research partners, as well as a significant number of UK and Scottish politicians and elected representatives.

The Institute’s cutting edge research was on display through exhibits covering plant science, sustainable agriculture, bioinformatics, soil research and social science, along with stands from James Hutton Limited, Intelligent Growth Solutions, the Plant Health Centre and the Dee Catchment Partnership. The Institute’s stand at the RHET Centre offering young visitors hands-on experiences with plants and plant-based art was so popular that materials were almost exhausted by the end of the last day.

On Show Thursday, the Institute Reception hosted the Scottish Affairs Select Committee and was addressed by its chair Pete Wishart MP. We also welcomed Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove MP and Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell MP. 

Show Friday’s Superfoods Breakfast saw honeyberries served alongside more established soft fruit choices such as raspberries and strawberries. UK Minister Lord Callanan joined us for the occasion and Lord Duncan, Under Secretary of State for Scotland, then addressed attendees about the visionary legacy of James Hutton and the value of research and innovation for British agricultural industries, in the context of the UK Industrial Strategy. We were then visited by Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson MSP.

The press were out in force to cover the Best Soil in Show prize giving, where the title went to John Weir, of Lacesston Farm near Kinross, and the Young Farmers trophy to Douglas Greig, of Tealing by Dundee, who scooped it for a record third time.

The Scottish Land Commission launched new guidance documents at the Hutton marquee on Friday to a standing-room only audience keen to hear about joint venture opportunities to help new entrants get their start in farming. The discussion was partly based on work by Hutton researchers

All in all, the four days of the Show evidenced a real buzz about the range of content and interest in Hutton displays which seemed to appeal to kids, adults, experts and ingénues alike, with an impressive array of tech, more traditional science and interpretative activities available. The Institute also reached hundreds of thousands via social media during the event.

The Show also saw the unveiling of a short case study video produced by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy which illustrates how the James Hutton Institute supports the UK Government's long-term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK.

Professor Colin Campbell commented: “We have completed another very successful show and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all staff who helped make the event such a success for all of us again this year. The Institute was praised very highly by the many visitors we hosted over the four days.

“We have raised our profile and activities once again across a wide range of stakeholders gaining new contacts and leads to follow up.”

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).

Printed from /news/very-successful-royal-highland-show-hutton-science on 20/06/19 12:11:01 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.