profile: John Farrington
Current position: Assistant Farm Manager
I was brought up on a mixed farm in Somerset and have always loved farming. I attended The Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, gaining a BSc (Hons) degree in Agriculture (Land Management).
Having done several harvest student placements on other farms, I applied for the Management Trainee Scheme because I wanted to further my skills base on a larger arable enterprise and to work up to being a Farm Manager. The trainee scheme is a great way to learn as I am learning out on the farm rather than in a classroom.
I started with The Co-operative Farms in January ‘07 at their Stoughton Estate, Leicestershire. Working with a great team, who helped and encouraged me immensely, I was involved in arable and machinery operations and had an insight into management and accounts procedures. I helped with the very enjoyable and rewarding teaching of primary school kids, under the Farm to Fork Schools Education Project. I also helped organise the harvest student training week. In July ’07, I was moved up to assist with the management of the potato enterprise at the Goole Estate, East Yorkshire.
In 2008 I moved back to Stoughton to become Assistant Farm Manager. In my current role I am responsible for crop husbandry across the farms. I am studying for my BASIS and when qualified I will work for my FACTS qualification. These are particularly relevant to my current role, as it includes pesticide programmes and nutrient management plans.
The Co-operative Farms invest heavily in their trainees; I have participated in an off-farm Leadership Development Course, have attended agronomy and management seminars and machinery handling courses. The breadth of experience is great and I feel involved and included, both by my work colleagues and senior management personnel.