Posted 29 November 2023
“My education at Harper provided the foundation for all the learning, qualifications and professional development I’ve completed since. I’ve been back several times."
Todd Jex, left, with Adam Henson
An agronomist with more than a decade of experience says his award-winning career has grown from the foundations of his studies at Harper Adams.
Todd Jex’s career as an agronomist began at Masstock, which later became Agrii – a leading provider of agronomy services, technology, and strategic advice – after he completed his degree in 2011.
Starting from zero – with no clients – Todd now advises 25 arable farmers across four counties – Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Now the company’s National Technical Manager for Regenerative Farming, he was named Arable Adviser of the Year 2023 at this year’s Farmers Weekly awards - and found out this month he is also shortlisted for Young Agronomist of the year in the National Arable and Grassland Awards 2024.
He said: “Getting nominated was a nice recognition of the time and effort I put into helping my customers achieve their objectives.
“I was honoured to find out I’d been selected as a finalist, and excited at the prospect of attending the awards ceremony in London.
“Winning the award sealed what was a fantastic and memorable evening for me, my family, colleagues and customers. The moment my name was read out is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life I’m sure - honestly, it still feels surreal!”
The impact of Todd’s work hugely impressed the Farmers Weekly judges – including Edward Vipond, Farm Manager for Troston Farms in Suffolk, who said: “Todd demonstrated outstanding technical knowledge based around soil husbandry, which forms the basis of his regenerative and no-till farming strategy.
“His scientific and data-driven approach, including extensive soil analysis and benchmarking to aid crop performance, is empowering farmers to make the right agronomic decisions.”
Todd readily acknowledges the difference that studying at Harper has made, citing both the University’s facilities and lecturers in setting him on his path.
The BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Crop Management graduate added: “Harper was great - a real advantage studying with the farm and labs as a learning resource.
“My education at Harper provided the foundation for all the learning, qualifications and professional development I’ve completed since. I’ve been back several times.
“I returned in 2012 to complete my BASIS certificate in crop protection. The course was over three one-week blocks with the exam at the end. It was nice to be back applying parts of my degree to my new career.
“Since BASIS, I’ve been back completing the various modules to achieve the BASIS Graduate Diploma in Agronomy and the Harper Adams University Graduate Diploma in Agronomy with Environmental Management.”
With both a wide-ranging career and, now, a Farmers Weekly award under his belt, Todd has some very simple words of advice for anyone hoping to follow in his footsteps.
He added: “Maximise the opportunity that an institution like Harper Adams University gives you - the wealth of experience and expertise is incredible.
“Make the most of your placement year, it really helped me develop my knowledge and prepare me for my future career.
“Take advantage of other opportunities that present themselves - and don’t be afraid to put yourself out of your comfort zone.”