Sarah Ferguson, 29, is a store manager for Tarff Valley, an Agricultural Merchants in Castle Douglas. She has recently become the first in the UK to complete and receive a Gold award in the Bimeda Nutrition Academy courses for animal health and nutrition.
Growing up: I was brought up in a very rural part of Dumfries and Galloway in South West Scotland on a dairy farm near the village of Sorbie.
When I was due to leave secondary school, I was a bit unsure of what I wanted to do. I loved the countryside and helping out at home, but with two brothers also heading for careers on the family farm I had to find something else.
Administration and business studies were my strongest subjects at school so I headed off to Glasgow for a course at College. City life was fine for a short time but I was still a country girl at heart.
On leaving college I had a couple of jobs in an office but I never felt that was where I wanted to be.
Career: A store assistant job came up with the local Agricultural Merchant, Tarff Valley - I applied and was offered the job.
I have now found a job that fulfills my ambitions – to be working within the agricultural industry dealing with farmers.
Through in-house training with Tarff I have worked in a variety of their stores and I now hold the position of store manager at their Whauphill branch.
It has its challenges but no two days are ever the same. At Whauphill we do a variety of jobs selling agricultural supplies, animal health products, dairy chemicals, household goods as well as mixing blends and bagged feeding for farmers.
Academy: Recently I took part in the Bimeda Nutrition Academy courses and I have just received my Gold award. I found this very rewarding and a great personal achievement, as I was one of the first in the UK to do this course.
It was a great way to learn and increase my knowledge of animal nutrition and trace elements.
Animal nutrition and animal health has always been something I have been interested in and very keen to progress with in the future.
Challenge: I am absolutely passionate about rural life - yes it has its struggles and challenges but it is a community that cares for its own and it really is an amazing life.
Farming has been very good to me – the industry has provided me a great childhood and employment and a great network of friends.
I see on a daily basis the highs and lows of farming life but I also see the resilience of our farming folk and how they keep going on, in spite of what sometimes feels like a never-ending struggle.