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LAMMA 2019

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Young Farmer Focus: Liv Bates, 27 - 'Despite only ever working in the ag industry, I am not from a farming family'

Liv Bates, 27, is a customer success manager for ag-tech start-up KisanHub, providing software to growers around the world. She is not from a farming background but has always been interested in farming and shooting.

Background: Despite only ever working in the agricultural industry, I am not from a farming family.

 

My dad is a software engineer and my mum a nurse so the only question I am ever asked is why on Earth I wanted to get into farming?

 

From a young age I always knew working outside was something I wanted to do, but it was only during a year out after school working as a soil sampler and then a lambing student I realised farming was my passion.

 

I went on to study agriculture at the University of Reading and have since been fortunate enough to have had some great jobs in the industry.

 

Day to day: I recently took on a new role in KisanHub, an exciting ag tech start-up based in Cambridge.

 

I am a customer success manager, something which is a relatively new concept in the ag industry but one I think has potential to grow.

 

Every week is different here; one day I can be out visiting growers and walking fields and the next I could be working on our social media content and writing a blog post.

 

The role also brings exposure to several types of farms which I find really interesting. I have been to a farm selling raw milk from a vending machine and another growing plants for controlling river bed erosion.

 

I mainly work with potato growers which is great as I can relate to them following a previous role as assistant manager in a root vegetable growing operation.

 

Weather: I am sure they would all agree this has been the most difficult planting season for a while.

 

I think most growers are just about wrapped up now, with some managing to get the irrigators and even harvesters out.

 

It will be interesting to see what the season throws at growers next, hopefully not a totally dry summer.

 

Challenges: Speaking from experience, I do not think it is as easy to get into farming as some people might say, especially with no family background.

 

And I still think the whole industry is failing to agree in terms of accepting women in the workplace.

 

Since finishing university I have done my trailer test, learned to drive and successfully reverse a tractor, got my forklift and telehandler tickets, and last year my vegetable BASIS qualification, all of which I am very proud of.

 

My advice to anyone in similar position would be not to give up. Work hard and prove yourself.

 

Brexit: Following Brexit, things will be uncertain and I think there will be a lot of pressure on smaller farms and businesses to become more efficient.

 

It will be so important to know your costs and be familiar with your strengths and weaknesses.

 

But I do not want to sound too negative – Brexit will be a great opportunity for growers to become more streamlined.

 

 

 


Read More

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Young Farmer Focus: Emma Foot, 24: 'I think Brexit is the way forward, but time will tell' Young Farmer Focus: Emma Foot, 24: 'I think Brexit is the way forward, but time will tell'
Young Farmer Focus: Hannah Crawford, 23 - 'A lot of my success has come from involvement with YFC' Young Farmer Focus: Hannah Crawford, 23 - 'A lot of my success has come from involvement with YFC'
Young Farmer Focus: Lorna Sidebottom, 23 - 'Being a female farmer I'm often undermined by the lack of strength I have' Young Farmer Focus: Lorna Sidebottom, 23 - 'Being a female farmer I'm often undermined by the lack of strength I have'
Young Farmer Focus: Pat Armitage, 23 - 'I'm hopeful the agricultural policy of the UK undergoes a radical reformation' Young Farmer Focus: Pat Armitage, 23 - 'I'm hopeful the agricultural policy of the UK undergoes a radical reformation'

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