WALLACE Currie, the 24-year-old founder of Rural2Kitchen, which brings the field to fork journey to a wider audience, has received national recognition for his ach-ievements.
Wallace, who set up his venture from the Isle of Arran, was awarded highly commended in NFU Mutual’s Inspirational Young Person Awards. Wallace is the mastermind behind Rural2Kitchen (R2K), an educational Face-book page sharing information around the field to fork journey. He has also launched and hosts a podcast, R2Kast, featuring different people from the food and farming industry on each episode.
The Inspirational Young Person Awards, which are in their third year, were launched by commercial insurer NFU Mutual in partnership with industry body Scotland Food and Drink. They seek to uncover inspirational examples of talented 16 to 26 year-olds who own, work or study in the food and drink sector – highlighting not only the enormous contribution that young people make to Scotland’s food and drink businesses, but also the importance of the sector to the wider economy.
Having originally intended to select a top three, the judges found the quality of this year’s applications so outstanding that they ultimately decided to recognise first and second prizes, along with four highly commended winners. Wallace will receive a trophy and a £200 cash prize for his highly commended entry.
Despite finishing an Honours Degree in Agriculture at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and a Masters in Food Security at Glasgow University, Wallace took a job at Enterprise Rent-A-Car after graduation.
Although he enjoyed the job, when he was furloughed during lockdown Wallace took the opportunity to go back to his roots and key interests in farming.
He returned home to the Isle of Arran to help lamb on the farm and quickly realised that farming was the industry he wanted to build a career in. He started posting about farming on Facebook, discussing topics like the importance of sourcing local food, grass reared stock and grain supply. Wanting to show the whole process from farm to fork, Wallace kept sharing information: grass information, lambing data, recipes, polytunnel content – things he felt reflected the realities of farming.
Noticing that people valued the content, Wallace developed the podcast R2Kast, with nine episodes now live – available on Spotify, YouTube, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and many others – and a further eight upcoming in the series.
Having raised his profile in the industry, R2K also led to Wallace being offered his dream job as an SRUC lecturer in agriculture at the Barony campus.
Wallace said: “When I was originally contacted about the award I misunderstood and tried to think of people that deserved nominations, before I re-read the message and realised I was being nominated! Fast forward four months and finding out I have been highly commended in a world of phenomenally inspirational young people in this industry – I couldn’t be more elated.
“In April 2020 I started posting online about the importance of sourcing British and all things sustainable food production. I was lucky enough that this was noticed by SRUC and I managed to secure an absolute dream job teaching agriculture to the future of our industry.
“I will probably spend the cash prize on a better mic, camera and intro video for my people in farming podcast, the R2Kast.”