Posted 4 September 2013
I thought that a way of sharing information via social media would open a door for communication between the two parties and would achieve my objective to help farmers.
When Judy Pearson graduated from Harper Adams University little did she know less than four years later she would be helping to bridge the communication gap between farmers and land agents.
Having signed up for a training course at work on social media, the 26-year-old was inspired to use the platform as a way to engage with farmers and attempt to break down long-established barriers and stereotypes. And so the Blonde Ag Advisor blog was conceived.
“I feel one of the biggest problems in the agricultural sector is that there is a lack of cohesion between separate farming businesses and with that a lack of information share,” said Judy, who works as a Rural Chartered Surveyor for Berrys in Kettering, Northamptonshire.
“As anyone in the agricultural industry will know there is a great divide between farmers and land agents.
“Land agents often have a bad press for driving Volkswagen Golfs and wearing red cords and tweed.
“With my aim to help farmers and to break this stereotype, I thought that a way of sharing information via social media would open a door for communication between the two parties and would achieve my objective to help farmers.
“I am very much in awe of the work and commitment that goes into running a farming business. It is undoubtedly one of the hardest jobs out there and incredibly time consuming, which ultimately creates little time for red tape paperwork and researching issues that could affect their business.
“I wanted to aim my social networking at providing information on topical and traditional issues that aren’t often covered in the press, and to bring issues to farmers’ attention that if dealt with early could change the course of their business path.”
Judy, who lives on her family’s farm in Old, Northamptonshire, launched her blog in August last year while also setting up a twitter account - @blondeagadvisor – to work alongside it.
She has experienced great success with both, recruiting more than 1,000 followers on twitter and seeing up to 150 visitors a day to her blog. More than 100 people have also signed up to receive her weekly blog via email.
Recent topics addressed by Judy include CAP Reform, the current price of land and how yields, crop prices and rent levels can affect bottom lines.
“One of the best parts of the blog is that if someone searches the internet and ends up on one of my pages, I can see exactly what they searched for, which allows me to tailor the blog to what people out there are wanting to know,” added Judy, who graduated from Harper Adams in 2009 with a BSc (Hons) degree in Rural Enterprise and Land Management (REALM).
“I have noticed that as a medium, social networking, and specifically twitter, is a great platform for farmers and professionals to interact.
“Followers of the blog grow every day and I aim to grow my readership as much as is physically possible. The more people I can reach the better.”
Between university and her first full-time surveying job, Judy completed the British Horseracing Authority graduate programme, which included working as a journalist for the Racing Post.
She then went on to work for Samuel Rose, near Northampton, where she completed her professional qualification to become a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) and a Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (FAAV).
Judy then worked for a year as an Associate in the rural department of Chesterton Humberts in the Stamford office before moving to Berrys in June this year as a Senior Practitioner in the Farm Business Team. She has also recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Law at De Montfort University in Leicester.
To view Judy’s blog go to http://blondeagadvisor.wordpress.com/