Posted 4 July 2007
Look to the countryside to see how it can give you the career of your dreams – this is the exciting message from the NFU as its launches a new report this month to attract young people to jobs in agriculture.
Harper Adams University College’s David Martin, from County Durham, is supporting the NFU’s Why Farming Matters campaign ‘A life on the land’ which is aimed at encouraging young people who are about to leave school and start on the first step of their career ladder to look at the wealth of opportunities available working in agri-businesses. The campaign also serves as a reminder that you don’t need a farming background to have a successful career in the industry. However, it offers much more than a basic career guide. It shows how people from all walks of life have carved out successful agri-careers from being at the sharp end on-farm to developing new technologies and using science and research to push the industry’s boundaries even further.
David is featured as a case study in the report that aims to inspire young people and give them advice on where to go to get the ball rolling. As the third son of a farming family in Tursdale, near Coxhoe, County Durham David decided to forge a career away from the family farm. He spent four years studying for a degree in Agriculture and Crop Management at the Harper Adams before spending a year as President of the University College’s Student Union.
He says “The course has been great. I have learned such a lot from the people that I have met here and tested myself in so many ways. When I first visited Harper Adams I knew it was the leading provider of land-based qualification in the higher education sector but I soon found out it was much more. My four years as a student have been the best of my life and I’ve achieved everything I hoped for and more.”
At Harper Adams all students spend a year on a work placement for one year. It enables students to put their knowledge gained at University College into practice and learn from some of the best professionals in the rural and land-based industries. David spent his time at BASF, the world’s leading, chemical company. He tested new agrochemical products and helping prepare them for registration. David really believes that you need to know what your customers want if you are to succeed in this line of work. He has continued to enhance his career by working towards his BASIS certificate. This is one of the many short courses offered at Harper Adams.
Vice President Paul Temple says: “A life on the land in the 21st century is not just about muddy wellies and dirty finger nails – it’s about adapting new technology, selling to your strengths and listening to your customer. We’re on the look out for young people to take agriculture and horticulture on to even greater success. Farming needs dynamic, committed young people who are prepared to work hard, develop their skills and who take pleasure in reaping the rewards of their labour.”Dispelling myths and providing real facts, ‘A life on the land’ is the latest theme of the NFU’s national Why Farming Matters campaign and shows why young people really matter to farming.