Scholarship benefits Morag

Morag Brown from New Deer has won a Norvite scholarship.
Morag Brown from New Deer has won a Norvite scholarship.

A New Deer woman is the latest SRUC student to win a Norvite scholarship as part of an innovative partnership between the company and the college.

Morag Brown, currently in the final year of a degree in Agriculture at the Aberdeen (Craibstone) campus of Scotland’s Rural College, is finding that the help from feed company Norvite has been invaluable.

The scholarship was established in 2013 and supports a final year student’s dissertation project by balancing education with agricultural industry involvement.

For her project farmers daughter Morag, of Hilton of Culsh, is carrying out a trial investigating the value of feeding fish oil feed supplements to ewes before and during mating (tupping) time.

While tupping time is long past she is continuing to monitor the health and fertility of her trial ‘flocks’ as the project nears completion.

“Winning the scholarship was a great boost,” said Morag. “Many students struggle to find good ideas for their dissertation projects, but through the company’s help I have a relevant, experiment which can offer real benefits.

“The £1,000 cash prize helped cover expenses and the access to expert help from Norvite technical staff has been invaluable.”

Morag has three groups of sheep at home on the farm. One group received no special supplement, another a standard company, pre-tupping product and the third a diet with extra fish oil supplying trace elements and omega 3.

She will soon scan the ewes to confirm which are pregnant and whether they are carrying single or twin lambs.

Her academic supervisor at SRUC Craibstone is Phil Wrigglesworth. He said: “The Norvite scholarship has given Morag a great opportunity to develop further links within the industry as well as the scholarship prize.”

Norvite’s rechnical director David McClelland has enjoyed working with the second student to pass through the scholarship programme. While Morag’s results are yet to be published he is sure she has learned a lot.

“As Morag draws her work to a conclusion we are already beginning the selection process for the next Norvite Scholar,” he said.

“This programme is our commitment to inspire the next generation of animal nutritionists and to improve understanding of livestock production.”