AGRONOMIST - COMMERCIAL HORTICULTURE ELECTION
We now ask that you take the time to read the candidates biographies below and select the one member who you would like to represent your sector.
The closing date for voting is Friday 25 January 2019.
I have a degree in Horticulture obtained from Wye College, University of London in 1988 and I am both BASIS Professional and FACTS trained and hold PA1 and PA6. I have worked for ADAS (Agricultural Development and Advisory Service) as a consultant covering ornamental crops for 22 years providing a range of technical and crop protection advice to growers nationally and culminating in the management of the ADAS ornamentals team. While at ADAS I was also auditor, lead auditor and then chairperson of BOPP (British Ornamental Plant Producers), a certification scheme for ornamental producing businesses.
Since 2010, I have worked as a Knowledge Exchange Manager for AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board), again within the ornamentals sectors, focusing on disseminating a wide range of technical, research, cultural and crop protection information to industry in a range of formats – events, publications, electronic media, video etc. Developments in crop protection remain a key output for AHDB, but the adoption by industry of a range of other practices, such as biological control, and materials, such as biopesticides, is now just as important to conform with legislation and maintain robust control strategies, and it is the responsibility of KE Managers to get these messages
across to industry.
I believe I am ideally positioned to undertake a fresh challenge as a member of the BASIS Membership Committee. I have spent more than 30 years working in horticulture, and for the large part working on production nurseries.
During this time my career has increasingly moved me towards the more technical areas within commercial horticulture and since 2013 I have been employed by Fargro as an agronomist.
Plant Health Career Developments
BASIS Store Keeper certificate in 2005
Technical Manager Walberton Nursery 2007
BASIS qualified in 2009
FACTS qualified and Fargro Integrated Pest Management Specialist Officer 2013
BASIS / FACTS examiner and registered training co-ordinator.
RHS Level 3 examiner in Plant Health Management 2012-2016
IPPS 1989 -
I am an active member, and served for more than ten years on the IPPS committee. During this period I coordinated the workshop programme, developed the website, organised a conference in 2000, and was its President in 2001 and represented Great Britain and Ireland on the International Board for four years.
HDC 2011 – 2013
I was Vice -Chair of the HDC Herbaceous Perennials Technical Discussion Group and the industrial coordinator on two HDC Projects - HNS 183 Development of a practical propagation guide and HNS 178 Bacterial disease of herbaceous perennials.
BASIS/FACTS Examiner in Commercial Horticulture 2012 – present
RHS Examiner for the Level 3 Qualification 2005– 2016
Southern Growers Club Secretary and active member 2007 – present
In this role each year, I organise and co-ordinate a number of industry events including working with the AHDB to deliver an industry wide study day bringing a number of HDC projects to life.
Sussex Ornamental Growers Forum Secretary 2017 –
Industry forum where we update one another on all aspects of IPM concentrating on integrated pest management.
My introduction to horticulture was 6 years at Elsoms seeds working in the brassica division. I had a wide range of activities there which included sales, prognosis and trials. During my trial work I took an interest in the agronomy side as well and began learning about pests and diseases. I was also responsible for looking after the Irish distributor and regularly went over to visit them and their growers.
I also went down to meet the Cornish rep on an number of occasions to view our trials and meet the growers.
I have been at Dejex for 3 years now, we are a horticultural distributor for a number of manufacturers, i.e. Compo expert (fertilisers), ICL (substrate, fertilisers, chemicals), Klasmann (substrate), Fargro (chemicals), Soparco (Pots/ Containers), Plantpak (pots, trays) and a number of others. My role started out in sales for chemicals, fertilisers and speciality horticultural products. However in that time I have done the BASIS (ornamentals, fruit, veg, edibles) + FACTS courses and now spend the majority of my time crop walking ornamental growers (cut flowers, pot/bedding, HNS, etc..) & a few large Berry Gardens soft fruit growers. Another role I have is to assist the other reps with any technical issues they or their growers may have.
I attend as many as possible AHDB events specific to our growers portfolio of crops and easily exceed the 50 CPD points I require per year.
I will also be attending the under 40s fruit trip to Chile in February 2019 as an industry sponsor.
From a family of growers, my career goal from the outset was to gain as broad an understanding of this hugely varied industry as possible.
Consequently, I initially obtained a degree in Biology and subsequently worked in:
• Horticultural research/further education
• Quality systems of fresh produce supplies to most major UK supermarkets including period with Tesco
• Technical sales and marketing with a wide range of companies supplying horticulture and agriculture
• Established and built up my own successful retail nursery and landscape business
• Presently work with Solufeed on technical sales for Scotland and the North of England.
• Along the way I gained post graduate diplomas in both Management and Marketing.
I am extremely aware of the need to maintain professional standards and the potential consequences of failing to do so. Equally I am aware of the need for two-way communication at the core of CPD. A greater man than me frequently states “Every day is a school day”. This passion for knowledge and commitment to conveying sound technical advice is what it should all be about.
St Monica's House, 39 Windmill Lane,
Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 1EY
T: 01335 343945
F: 01335 301205
BASIS is a registered charity (No. 1077006) and a
company limited by guarantee registered in England (No. 1365343)