“I thought Harper was the perfect mix of professional and academic and no one can dispute that it has really strong links with industry,” says Helen Brown – now an Agronomist with Hutchinsons - when asked why she chose Harper Adams over anywhere else.
The BSc (Hons) Agriculture and Crop Science graduate said: “Harper’s strong industry links are something I still hear about all the time, Harper has a brilliant reputation within the industry, and this makes Harper graduates very employable.”
Helen, who is from a mixed farming background in Cumbria, decided to pursue Agronomy as a career because she “was interested in Biology and Chemistry and after talking to our farm agronomist, and having work experience days with the local agronomist.”
“After two years at Harper Adams, I did my placement year with the Cumbrian branch of the National Agronomy company, Hutchinsons, and that’s when they offered me the job and once I graduated in 2017 I came back, and underwent the Hutchinsons Foundation Scheme and now I’m pretty much established as an agronomist.”
“I spend all my time on farms walking crops with farmers chatting about all kinds of crop production but as Cumbria is a very livestock-based area I do a lot with grassland forage and maize.”
“I find it interesting visiting all the different farms and seeing how they run, but my favourite part of the job is working with farmers who want to improve their farm. Our farmers are always looking to do things better, especially in terms of nutrients and sustainability, it’s really good when you have farmers who are very keen to get on board with new ideas.”
To anyone contemplating Agronomy or a similar career, Helen’s advice is to “not underestimate the value of social skills, as the best agronomists are people who can explain things to farmers in ways they will understand and have to be the enjoy meeting and talking to a very wide range of people each day.”
The 26-year-old from Penrith adds that: “I work with people who were on my course at Harper, we worked through university together and now we work alongside each other every day. Harper’s placement year cannot be underestimated when it comes to making you employable, but the university also helps you make friends for life.”