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Young Farmer Focus: Max Perris - 'Dairy farming has made me a much better person'

Max Perris, 29, is an agricultural consultant with Crawford and Company. He relief milks at weekends on a dairy farm near Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Experience: I grew up in Somerset at the foothills of the Quantocks, where farming is a key element of life. My farming interest started by playing on-farm with friends who were farmers’ sons, until we were old enough to be put to work.

 

At 14 I started to develop more of an interest in the dairy sector; I joined Young Farmers and worked on a neighbouring dairy farm.

 

In 2006 I moved to France for further education and worked on a large arable and tobacco farm at weekends and during holidays.

 

I studied at college in rural Northern France where I obtained my Baccalureat. Having graduated, I spent eight years working on various dairy, beef, arable, pig, poultry and tobacco farms.


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During this time I recognised the need for vocational qualifications and returned to education. I spent two years at the CFPPA in Laval, France, where I obtained degrees in dairy based agricultural management and a module in agricultural mechanics.

 

I am fluent in French, Spanish and conversational German.

 

Knowledge: In 2015 I realised the dream of getting my own dairy farm without being indebted to the bank was not going to happen, so I returned to the UK for a change in career path.

 

My broad experience in the farming industry provided me with a wealth of opportunities to pursue in the agribusiness sector.

 

The 12 years I have spent farming have provided me with the skills and experience required to fulfil my current role in the insurance industry, specifically loss-adjusting and business development for Crawford and Company’s Agricultural, Rural Industries and Estates Losses team.

 

Sound, practical farming knowledge is particularly relevant in this highly specialised area of claims work.

 

On a dairy farm, the importance of relationships and doing things right first time are crucial and this experience is transferable to the insurance industry.

 

As a UK agricultural consultant, my farming background has provided me with an invaluable insight into the industry.

 

Dairy: Dairy farming has made me a much better person; I immensely respect the countryside and animals.

 

If a heifer has a bad experience, it can change who she is and how she reacts to human intervention.

 

This has highlighted my outlook on people: first impressions are everything.

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