Jenna leads the way for women in agriculture

A Robert Gordon University (RGU) MBA student is leading the way for women in agriculture with her bio-pesticide research.

Dr Jenna Ross embarked on an MBA at RGU to turn her passion for science and farming into a business concept and she has now won two prestigious awards, as well as an opportunity to travel the world to gather global data to enhance slug control in the UK.

The 33-year-old, who grew up on a family farm in Tarland, Aberdeenshire, has now completed her MBA with distinction and is set to graduate in the summer.

She has just been announced as the winner of the Land-based Aquaculture Higher Education Learner of the Year award, which recognises the country’s top trainees within the rural sector.

Jenna was also awarded the prestigious Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS) award based on her MBA.

She said: “I am delighted to have won the two awards, it makes all the hard work worthwhile. It is also an honour to be recognised by my industry peers.”

Jenna is currently now developing her bio-pesticide research into a business utilising her MBA.

She said: “The highlight of my MBA at RGU was using it as a vehicle to develop the business plan for my business concept. It allowed me to harness my ideas, and test their feasibility. I am in the process of spinning out my bio-pesticide research into a business, focusing on the biological control of molluscs (slugs and snails).

“I decided to do an MBA as I was keen to build on my leadership skills, as well as learn more about the commercialisation process of my new business concept. I also thought that the MBA would make me a more rounded person and open my perspective on life and business.

“My short-term goal is to spin out my research into a feasible applied solution for the agricultural industry. However, the MBA and my Nuffield Scholarship have really opened up my mind to various opportunities, and I would love to be involved with moulding UK agricultural policy as Brexit develops.”

Dr Ian Broadbent, MBA Director at RGU, said: “Jenna’s success is richly deserved. I’m delighted that she was able to utilise her MBA studies to underpin the commercial development of her research; our MBA programme is designed to support and enable students to achieve their entrepreneurial ambitions.”

Jenna is also one of 19 people embarking on a Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 2018. Her project – Riding the slime wave: Gathering global data to enhance slug control in the UK – sets out to collate global information on slug control, in order to enhance farming methods in the UK.

She said: “Earlier this year, I was chosen to be part of the Nuffield Farming programme, which fosters agricultural leaders of the future. As part of this, I will be travelling around the world learning about global agriculture. I have been in Portland, Oregon, learning about the dairy industry, seafood industry and the hazelnut industry, and Washington DC to meet with various US agricultural leaders at Capitol Hill and House of Representatives. I will then travel onto the Czech Rep., Poland, Ukraine, Kenya and South Africa to speak to various agricultural leaders in each respective country.

Prior to an MBA, Jenna studied Forensic Science at RGU and spent some time working with the Identification Bureau at Grampian Police before deciding to go back to university to study a PhD in Environmental Science.

Release by Stacey Lynch
Communications Officer
Press and Media Enquiries