Isla Soutter

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Isla Souter has farming running through her blood. Born and raised on a purebred pedigree farm with Texel sheep, pedigree Limousin cattle and arable land, her childhood was spent surrounded by the iconic Lake District landscape and adopting a passion
for it through her family’s farming business.

Studying at Harper Adams University has helped her pursue her passion for the sector, and she has thrown herself into educational life, while also taking on various opportunities outside of her academic studies.

Isla has been involved with numerous breed societies and is a key member of the Limousin and Hereford youth programmes, with a particular love for showing and stockjudging. In 2020, Isla took the opportunity to travel to New Zealand to take part in the World Hereford Conference. Although she was put on the reserve list for the UK, she had a determination to be involved regardless and was approached by Denmark, securing a place on their team.

A stint on the McDonald’s Progressive Young Farmer placement scheme expanded her farming experiences further.

She was placed in poultry – a sector she had no previous experience in – and although it could be said she got off to a somewhat rocky start, it is an area Isla has now come to love.

In fact, she thoroughly enjoyed the whole placement. Through the McDonald’s scheme, she has also been able to visit Parliament and lead a team in the Great Agri Food Debate. Her team spoke on regenerative agriculture and was placed third.

After spending a stint of time in Australia visiting multiple farming enterprises, she has now taken on a role with leading food processor ABP. One of Isla’s focuses is connecting to the consumer, and how a trusted relationship can be built.

What the Judges said

The finalist demonstrated a proactive and positive approach to her studies and the next stage in her career. She showed an openness to exploring new aspects of farming in order to further herself, her studies and career and, her eagerness to showcase the industry to audiences is commendable.