As part of the Farmers Apprentice series, Farmers Weekly is showcasing the diversity of careers in agriculture by profiling a job in the sector. This week we caught up with Tom Godwin of Anglia Farmers.

Tom Godwin is out of the office most days, visiting members of the UK’s largest agricultural buying group across Norfolk, Lincolnshire and the Midlands.

He has always been interested in farming and his role as key account manager means that he is the first port of call for members who have any questions or concerns.

Tom, 26, joined Anglia Farmers (AF) as a machinery buyer 18 months ago and has recently been promoted to key account manager.

“I really enjoy this, I like the networking and sense of community. It’s a great opportunity to meet younger farmers who are looking to progress.”
Tom Godwin, Anglia Farmers

“My job is all about building and strengthening the relationship between Anglia Farmers and its members,” he says. “It includes office-based tasks such as reviewing member accounts by looking at what people are buying and making sure that they are getting the most out of being members of AF.

See also: Read more about our Farmers Apprentice competition and watch the first episode

“I talk to members about the service they receive to make sure they are happy and I address any concerns. I also talk them through new services which we can offer to help them run their business more efficiently.

“This role definitely requires the confidence to meet and speak to anyone and to have a strong agricultural knowledge so that you can speak to people in a way they will relate to. Our members are very busy and we have to be able to get information across to them succinctly and clearly.”

Key account manager must-haves

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong knowledge of and interest in agriculture
  • Ability to work alone and as part of a team
  • Ability to manage own time and workload

Tom Godwin

  • Grew up in farming area, north Norfolk
  • NDA at Easton & Otley College
  • Harvest job in New Zealand
  • Practical arable experience
  • Joined AF as machinery buyer 18 months ago
  • Recently promoted to key account manager

Tom’s role within AF’s membership team also includes helping to organise events for the Next Generation group – farmers aged 25-35 who will soon be taking over farming businesses.

Events include visits to members’ farms and talks from industry experts.

“I really enjoy this, I like the networking and sense of community. It’s a great opportunity to meet younger farmers who are looking to progress.”

Tom grew up around farming and with lots of friends who live on farms, he would often help out.After leaving school, he studied for a National Diploma in agriculture at Easton & Otley College.

A six-month harvest job in New Zealand followed. “I worked as a baling contractor, which was fantastic. I was able to experience agriculture in a different country; my employer put a great degree of trust in me.”

After returning from New Zealand, Tom began working for arable farming enterprises in Norfolk but after a couple of years decided to take on a fresh challenge which would complement the experience of his practical farm work.

“I’ve always pushed myself to try new things and achieve more and that’s how I came to be at AF. For me, moving into an office environment was certainly out of my comfort zone but that was part of the challenge.”

Working in new geographical areas has also fuelled Tom’s interest in farming. “The thing which has surprised me most is the range of farming opportunities and diversifications I’ve come across.

“I grew up in north Norfolk, which is predominantly an arable area, but my job has given me the chance to learn more about other enterprises – for example dairy and sheep farms, commercial horticulture, vegetables, flowers and even turf.”