If farming is for you, gain as many practical qualifications as you can in the form of a national diploma or even a higher national diploma. But do not enter into a degree lightly.
That is the message from RAC graduate Sam Harvey, who graduated this year with a BSc Hons degree in Agriculture. “Having had practical experience on farms and gained knowledge from my ND at Sparsholt, I felt comfortable going into my degree. I probably got far more from it than students who came with less on-farm experience, as it meant I could apply what I had previously learnt.”
Even before starting his degree at Cirencester, Sam had a clear career path mapped out. “Management has always been an area I’ve wanted to explore, so I secured a place on the Velcourt Management Training Scheme.
“If you want to go anywhere in the arable industry, you have to think big, so I decided to go for a well-known, UK-wide company that could offer plenty of career opportunities,” says Sam, who is working on a 1400ha arable unit in Cambridgeshire as an assistant farm manager.
Having an active role in the day-to-day running of the farm – including office work, responsibility for spraying, combine operation and relief drilling, plus management training – means he hopes to gain a farm manager’s role in the future.
But he is adamant this would not be the case if he had not followed the right path in the first place. “If it’s a career in farming you want, think carefully at what level you want to enter and work toward that. This industry is no different to any other and thinking about a career in agriculture should be given the same dedicated thought process.”
RAC GRADUATE SUCCESS RATE