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    Advice from agricultural student Alice Clews

    16 October 2017

    Alice Clews, 22, from, Wetherby, West Yorkshire gave her advice on succeeding in the agricultural industry.

    Alice said: “Work outside your comfort zone to get experience."

    Alice, 22, isn’t from a farming family, however this hasn’t stopped her from being successful in the agricultural industry.

    Alice said: “As a young person in agriculture and particularly a young lady, there are a number of challenges in the industry I regularly face, but I have found working and gaining new experience rewarding.”

    Alice is in her final year of studying BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Crop Management at Harper Adams University, for her placement she spent the year working for Syngenta based in South Cambridgeshire. Alice recieved the Syngenta Scholarship which included a £4,500 cheque and 12-month placement with Syngenta's trials team.

    She said: "Day to day most of my role included assisting the crop protection field biologists through all stages of field trials. I also spent some time assisting the seed and vegetable trials teams and completed a marketing project for Syngenta’s New Farming Technologies team. My placement year has been extremely rewarding due to the challenges I’ve faced and overcome. It has provided me with a breadth of knowledge in crop protection and management as well as experience working for a global company, which has prepared me for my final year studies at Harper Adams University."

    I plan to base my Honours Research Project (HRP) on the trials that are undertaken by Syngenta during my placement year. This will help to further extend my knowledge and interest in crop protection in preparation to join a Graduate/Trainee Agronomist programme following graduation. I also hope that by working for Syngenta, opportunities to study and analyse trials abroad will become available with the hope to study and work abroad in the future.”

     Alice has been a member of Young Farmers since the age of 14 and the highlight of Alice’s time at Young Farmers was receiving the Alma Baker Trust Scholarship through the YFC Travel Programme. This gave Alice the opportuntiy to experience working on an 8,000-acre sheep, beef and dairy farm in New Zealand. 

    Alice said: "I attend agricultural events including shows and conferences that have allowed me to connect and learn from many industry experts. An example of this is the Yorkshire Agricultural Society Future Farmers of Yorkshire meetings. Although during term time I am usually away at university, YAS has been extremely supportive to the extent of providing me with the opportunity to attend the Oxford Farming Conference as a scholar in January 2017. The theme, Thrive or Survive, was very relevant for the current position of British agriculture following Brexit.In terms of my future, I am looking forward to what will be an interesting few years as our volatile agricultural markets adapt to Brexit negotiations.

     As I’ve built up my experiences within the industry I have learnt that the best opportunities have come from working outside my comfort zone. I would therefore advise that anyone new to the industry or looking to gain agricultural experience to do so with an enthusiastic but open mind and to take up any opportunity.”

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