Age: 31

For Jennifer Macdonald, running her own farm and growing her own crops has been a long-held dream and since launching her own community interest company (CIC) in 2016 called Woodside Arran, she has not looked back.

As a nutritionist and herbalist with a background in horticulture, Jennifer knows a thing or two about ensuring a healthy diet. Alongside husband Andy, Jennifer runs Woodside where they she grows and sources the best quality fruit, vegetables, meat and eggs for sale on the Island.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the best choice of healthy, affordable organic produce on Arran so after moving here in 2015, it became clear that there was a real gap in the market for this kind of service on the island.

“I have a background in horticulture and a long term dream to create a permaculture farm, it was just a dream come true when we got Woodside off the ground. I am able to combine my love of cooking with growing my food.”

It’s the diversity and innovation within the Scottish food and drink industry which really drives Jennifer to think outside the box when it comes to her offering.

“It used to be that food and drink in Scotland was quite traditional. However, we are now seeing so many wonderful different cultures and people who live here alongside some of the very interesting new ideas coming out of organic and regenerative agriculture. It’s very exciting.”

For Jennifer, it’s more important than ever to get more young people into the food and drink industry.

“For too long Scotland has had the image and reputation for being extremely unhealthy. Now while I would never expect us to give up on our sweet treats, I think the more people who get involved in food and drink in Scotland, the more diverse and healthy an industry it will become. I believe this is the case not only for the people working within the industry but the consumers and economy also.”

Jennifer’s belief of encouraging a healthier industry and way of life goes hand in hand with her belief that there needs to be a real reduction in the average age of those involved in agriculture.

“Many individuals in the current farming generation are trying to retire and there are very few people in the ranks to take over from them.  I think this offers a real opportunity for many young people, perhaps with no experience or family history of farming to get involved in small scale agriculture.”

Jennifer’s #ScotFoodGoals are to diversify her business into other areas including opening a small scale poultry slaughter facility and to offer more hands-on training for others looking to change their lifestyle or get involved in regenerative agriculture for this first time.

Watch Jennifer’s #ScotFoodGoals video