Starting out in the world of agriculture, it would be easy to think that life begins and ends in the field.
One of the most exciting things about the Farmers Apprentice scheme is that the winner’s year-long internship with Farmcare will give a high-octane, on-the-ground insight into life in one of the UK’s most innovative agricultural businesses.
Below are just a couple of things you might not have imagined would be a part of everyday business at Farmcare:
Thinking outside agriculture
Drawing on innovation and technological advances from outside the agricultural sector is crucial to the future of farming. True to its collaborative approach, Farmcare explores how companies in different industries with similar processes innovate and future-proof their businesses.
To kickstart its innovation agenda, Farmcare held its first innovation session in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, at the car manufacturer’s Castle Bromwich site. The session was the first in a series of innovation workshops.
Amie Harris, head of business change at Farmcare, said: ‘’Taking the team out of their comfort zone and into a different environment really got the creative juices flowing as, like manufacturing, farming is process led, so there’s plenty of synergy, but instinct plays an important part too.’’
Employees from different disciplines across the business attended the event: Richard Quinn, Farmcare’s CEO, the operations director and head of business change, as well as craftsmen, farm managers and assistant farm managers, including Alistair McBain: the apprentice Farmers Weekly recently interviewed about life at Farmcare.
Following the event, Farmcare is scoping alternative markets for goods not suitable for retail customers. For example, when potatoes and apples don’t meet retailers’ specification, there is huge opportunity to use this produce elsewhere.
Ms Harris said: “Innovation in using sustainable materials is a topical area that is not well executed, so it is very interesting to us.’’
IT takes centre stage
A placement at Farmcare will give the Farmers Apprentice winner a unique insight into how heritage farming and innovative techniques work hand in hand.
From traditional farming methods at the Herefordshire Tillington Estate, which has been farming top fruit since 1913, to Highland Court’s innovative approach to apple growing, where machines are used for pruning and picking top fruit.’
Working with the company offers a mix of primary agriculture and corporate elements and the Farmers Apprentice will have the opportunity to shape their apprenticeship to experience the full range of these different sectors.
Driving huge efficiencies through its approach to technology, the business has completed a project to implement a cutting-edge IT system. This is vital to ensure operations can learn from each other across its network of nationwide sites. By improving communications across the business and ensuring maximum up time, Farmcare is using new technology in a way that sets the business apart.
We are asking 18- to 25-year-olds from all walks of life to submit a 1-minute video showing why they should be selected to attend an intensive, week-long bootcamp at Bishop Burton agricultural college.
How to enter
- You will need to be between 18 and 25 years old on 20 July 2016
- No farming experience is necessary
- Make sure you are free for bootcamp from 10-15 July
- Register on the Farmers Apprentice website
- Get your camera out and record a video telling us why you should be selected for bootcamp. Upload it to YouTube and send us the link by clicking “Enter” on the Farmers Apprentice website