“He has that fire in him I look for, I just wish he was closer to me, I’d have him here as my agronomist tomorrow,” our independent judge, Richard Ward, who farms on the edge of Warwickshire and Gloucestershire, said after our visit to Bryce Rham in Shropshire.
Those that do employ Bryce are lucky. His level of service is phenomenonal. And his energy and enthusiasm for his job are amazing.
They need to be. He walks 7689ha (19,000 acres) of crops for his clients – a good 1619ha (4000 acres) more than most agronomists would dream of doing.
But he gets away with it through sheer hard work and dedication, and a healthy dose of client cajoling to make sure his recommendations are made on time.
“You’re late with spraying a recommendation at your peril,” one of his client’s Tony Riley tells us.
But that passion rubs off on his farmers. He gives them confidence to back his judgement and try new things.
Technically he makes good use of independent sources for the basis of his recommendations, but he is not afraid to innovate, using some of his customers to trial new ideas.
You would think with so much field walking to do, Bryce wouldn’t have time for much else.
But he operates an input buying group for the seven agronomists, who make up Farm Advisers, with the same level of enthusiasm. “I get a buzz out of figures,” he explains. “Usually our prices are within the top 10%.”
He is also keen to make an impact outside his own clients. He is a cross-compliance adviser for Momenta in Cumbria, and not afraid to put his head above the parapet and champion important farming issues to the wider farming community and general public, particularly through the local media.