Josie Troop, a final year BSc Agri-food with Marketing and Business Studies student, was sponsored to attend Agribusiness 2020 this week. The event was held at the Peterborough Showground on Wednesday 13th November, focusing around the theme of "New Horizons for the UK Agri-food supply chain" with eight different speakers from across agricultural industries.
Josie's invitation came as a result of her Student Farmer nomination at the British Farming Awards (BFA) earlier this year. She commented that her nomination for the BFA came as a great surprise: "I got told on the last day of my placement that I had been successful which was a great way to end my third year.
"My friend and housemate Megan Hesketh was also nominated for the award. It was a really nice experience to go together and share in the excitement with our families.
"It was absolutely fantastic being in the same room as people leading in the industry to hear their stories and what they had contributed over the last year."
Having been identified as an up and coming voice in her area, Josie was selected as a leading student delegate, alongside Megan, fellow BFA nominee, and Helen Newbrook, a BSc Harper Agriculture with Farm Business Management student.
Josie commented that the event was an excellent opportunity to gain an insight into the business community as it currently stands, saying, "One of the most interesting talks from the day was from the Head of Agriculture of HSBC. His outlook was very refreshing and different from anything I had heard before, especially coming from an economic background. It was a different context to view the current agri-business landscape from."
Following the event and the knowledge she gained, she spoke about her ambitions for her final year. "Having listened to the discussion at Agribusiness 2020, it is interesting to see where the industry has been and where, through research, I could select elements of industry workings and take them across into new areas.
"I want to expand my knowledge so it doesn’t matter if it’s in fresh produce or the pig industry, I’ll have a strong variety of skills that I could apply to any of them."
Finally, Josie offered her advice to others thinking of attending different networking events saying, "Talk to people in your industry and ask what opportunities there are. By asking employers, making yourself known and curating connections, links are formed to make a greater voice for students to share and gain knowledge."