Adhering to industry demand for experience, experience and yet more experience was a hot topic among the delegates at this year’s agri-brunch with questions over how best to build a successful portfolio.
The key message reiterated by each of the panel was that the stepping stones to success were to stay true to the business and ‘sit down and concentrate on what [you] are actually good at’.
These were the words of agronomist Rob Boole who also said saying no to a job should never be feared.
“We do not aim to be the cheapest in what we do,” he said. “I know for a fact there are people out there who could probably do the job for less money but I feel you are only ever as good as your last job and you really need to maintain your reputation.
“There is no point racing around undercutting people on price; you just race yourself to the bottom.”
When asked on the importance of a university degree versus on-farm experience for new entrants, the general consensus from employers in the room was they would elect a candidate on experience ‘any day’.
Apprenticeships were also discussed as a way for young farmers to get their foot in the door, but NFYFC chairman Lynsey Martin said the industry had to be the change it needed to see.
“There are plenty of young farmers out there that should be shouting about this and saying I want to do this, I want to work in this industry but you need to help me do that,” she said.
It echoed remarks from Cornish dairy farmer and NFU Tenant’s spokesman Chris Cardell who said his key to success was to ‘get as many tools in the box’ but not look back on anything with regret.
He said the industry was too often knocked by people challenging the sector but called on delegates to go at things from a different angle and promote the positives.
“Agriculture is young and sexy and it damn well should be,” Mr Cardell added. “But do not look back – that is not going to move you forward.
“Try and surround yourself with positive people.”