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AGRONOMIST - FARMER ELECTION

We now ask that you take the time to read the candidates biographies below and select the two members who you would like to represent your sector.

The closing date for voting is Friday 25 January 2019.

CANDIDATES

 


Stephen Wallace

I am a graduate of Aberdeen University and started my career with the SAC Consultancy and spent 8 years with the division mainly based in the East coast of Scotland.

I sat the BASIS exam in November 1997 whilst working for SAC. I moved to practical farm management position in 2001 and currently farm in the region of 400 ha of root crops, salads, cereals and brassicas. The farm is based in Fife but we rent land from Kinross to Angus.

My interest in crop protection began walking cereals on the Estate at home which my father managed and grew from there. I walked a good number of acres with SAC and now am actively involved with all aspects of crop production at the farm which I manage.



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Tim Beaver

I am a tenant farmer carrying out my agronomy across 500ha in south Lincolnshire. After passing BASIS in 2002 and FACTS the year after I went on to achieve my BASIS Diploma which gave me a good all round understanding of the crops grown and how they interact with the surrounding environment. I currently sit on the NFU Sugar Board and Red Tractor Crops board.

Going forward I would like BASIS to give its members more access to seasonal developments and chemical updates based on local groups which are under the same pressures. Brexit may give an opportunity for farms to grow new crops and BASIS should be the go to place to learn about how to carry this out in a profitable method. We will also see more demand to grow more `public goods` in the form of extra greening, so again I would like to see BASIS taking the industry forward in this area.

Alongside keeping professional standards high it’s important BASIS publicizes what they do to the wider public and government to ensure farm businesses are not burdened with extra paper work which takes them away from the day to day running the farm.


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Keith Wells

I am an arable farmer from the East Riding of Yorkshire growing combinable crops, but also due to the contract farming side of the business, I get involved in root crops and grassland management. In 2002 I passed the BASIS certificate of crop protection and in the following years I undertook training and passed FACTS, soil and water management, BETA, an advanced cereal module, ending in 2007 with the Plant Protection Award. These modules then gave me the Basis diploma in agronomy of which I am very proud to have achieved.

I have represented farmers on the Basis professional matters committee before it was disbanded where I was involved in a number of cases between members and their clients which allowed me to see both sides of the industry. Since then I have been on the steering committee involved in setting up the new Membership committee.

Also I have been involved with the NFU and represented the county on the regional crop board for six years before retiring to allow fresh blood to have the opportunity to become involved in helping to shape the future of the industry.

Whilst in this position I had the opportunity to undertake media training allowing me the insight on how to respond to the media in way that puts over a fair and balanced view without being too technical for the intended audience, this connection with the media is still ongoing and I am regularly called upon for my views on the industry. I am very passionate about the agricultural industry and believe that as a farmer representative and a BASIS qualified agronomist I have a lot to offer this new committee and the industry in general.


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David Sedgley

I studied Agriculture at Shuttleworth Agricultural College from 1990 to 1993.

During my sandwich year I worked on a 1200Ha Arable and 1000 Sow indoor Pig farm in Framlingham, Suffolk followed by 4 years full time employment after a brief spell travelling in Australia.

In 1999 I moved to Rutland for a new employment opportunity on a 400Ha Arable farm where I was the sole employee.

I undertook my first Farm Management role in April 2004 where I am still employed today and look after 1000Ha of Arable land growing all combinable crops.

I obtained my BASIS in June 2004 followed by FACTS in January 2007


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Anne Filkins

I am the farm manager for an estate in south Wiltshire with 405 hectares of combinable crops and grassland.

I am president of the Frome Fatstock Show committee 2016-2018 and am also a Nuffield scholar with previous experience of working in television media and teaching.

Having worked through some of the BASIS qualifications I am enjoying the application and relevance of them to my work in the industry today. I would therefore be happy to be an advocate of the farmer sector in the BASIS membership committee.


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Ollie Wright

I am a farm managers son that worked on the farm as much as I could around school and then went to Harper Adams Agricultural College to study Agriculture with Crop Management. After this I then worked on various farms before deciding to set up my own business and I ended up moving away from the agricultural sector at this point and set up a landscaping and garden maintenance company. This involved both hard and soft landscaping and general landscape maintenance. My friend then came to me with the idea of setting up Agrigem and wanted me to help him out with it and I jumped at the opportunity to further my career in more of an advisory capacity. After being with the company for 18 months, I decided to do my BASIS and specialised in Amenity Turf and then 2 years later I did my FACTS to accompany this. Such is the ethos at Agrigem towards CPD, I am trying to achieve my BASIS Diploma in the Amenity Sector and to this end I am currently doing a distance learning course to add the Hard Surface module to my qualification. In my day to day job as a Technical Sales Manager I will regularly be talking to various types of people and advising them on the best way to carry out the job they have, but one area that I am doing more in is the turf production market and I am walking turf and advising farmers on IPM and best practice on a daily basis.


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