14 February 2020
Harper Adams alumna, Jenny Martin, has had a diverse and exciting career path that has led her across the globe. From the family farm outside of Newtownards, County Down, to Singapore and New Zealand, Jenny has had a true taste of global farming.
The BSc Business Management with Marketing graduate grew up on her family's third generation beef and dairy farm where she developed her passion for farming. Wanting to make her passion a lifestyle choice, Jenny ventured to Harper Adams as the leading specialist university for agriculture and related studies.
"My three years there were absolutely amazing," Jenny commented. As part of her time with Harper Adams, Jenny undertook the work placement year, which helped put her theoretical skills into practice. She was later offered a scholarship to be a delegate at the 27th Commonwealth Agricultural Conference in Singapore. Harper Adams supported her to join 274 other representatives from 19 Commonwealth countries in a discussion around bridging the rural and urban divide.
With the knowledge she gained in business management to understand the different communities in agriculture, Jenny was able to take her learning with her into the working world. Working for The AF Group, Jenny flew out to bridge the gap between rural and urban, meeting a variety of different farmers.
Jenny said: "My first stop was to Nui Friesians, which is a third generation dairy and beef farm ran by the Broderstons based in Taupo, which is in the middle of the North Island.
"Unlike the majority of dairy farms in New Zealand which are predominantly Jersey-Friesian based due to farmers wanting higher butter fat percentages, Nui Friesians was a Holestein-Friesian based system focusing on high milk volumes on low inputs."
Jenny then contrasted this farming experience with one on the South Island, working for Real Journeys, a company she likened to The National Trust. She explained: "It's a Kiwi family-owned business that has seven different tourist locations based all over the South Island, making it New Zealand's largest tourism company.
"I was assistant manager so I had to oversee the whole operation. Our main aim was to educate visitors about New Zealand's produce and farming practices, and give them an experience of actually eating the food and the produce cooked, so it really was a farm to fork experience.
"It was really amazing to see in practice. They were really passionate about teaching and getting the message across about the importance of agriculture. Agriculture really is the main focus over there which is so refreshing."
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