... a Trader

The thing I love most about being a straights trader is that no one day is ever the same!

I start each day by reading various market reports and speaking to brokers to see what news has come from the US overnight on trade, currency and crop progress.

After that my day can vary hugely. Some days will consist of going out onto farm to speak with customers, advising them on the best value feeds, allowing them to work with their nutritionists on getting the best value rations for what they are trying to achieve. Other days I will be meeting with suppliers and setting up contracts to allow us to expand our product portfolio.  When we believe the time is right to be covering raw materials and we wish to contact a lot of customers in a short space of time then I will be at my desk liaising with various suppliers and working with our sales team putting together quotes over the phone.

During the year, I attend trade dinners and lunches which gives me the opportunity to build relationships with our suppliers and find out what is happening within the industry. As a department we also attend some agricultural shows through the year which means my days can then involve stand building!

I first got into the role after finishing a trainee position with a bank in London. I was given an opportunity by another feed company to use the skills from my previous role and learn the agricultural side by working with experienced traders. This was a fantastic time but an already very established business. Bartholomews feed department in comparison has expanded hugely in recent years and I really enjoy being a part of the team driving that. I am excited to see where we can take it over the coming years!

Kayleigh Johnson

... an Agronomist

I am an Agronomist with Bartholomews and I have been with the company since July 2009. I qualified as an Agronomist after studying and sitting my BASIS & FACTS qualifications in 2010. Before qualifying, I started my career at Bartholomews trading fertiliser and seed as a way of interacting and building relationships with the local farming community.

The role of today’s agronomist is an extremely diverse one with many challenges. A “whole farm” agronomic service gives me the opportunity to provide advice on all aspects of your farm business. From seed varieties, grain marketing opportunities and fertiliser plans, you can be sure that no two days are ever the same. These activities are in addition to providing professional agronomic advice ensuring you get the best possible returns from your crop.  

This integrated approach means that my customers range from small scale dairy farms to large arable estates. Whether it’s helping to produce high quality maize to maximise returns from a dairy cow to planning a nutritional programme for a high value milling wheat crop, it is this diversity that motivates me. My role at Bartholomews is not only highly rewarding but provides exceptional stability and value for money for our farmers and growers.

Growers and advisers are similar in many ways, both finding it increasingly challenging to manage everything that the current climate throws at us. I feel the future key for me is to adapt and provide a service above simply identifying a problem and providing a solution. By showing willing and understanding each business model fully, you are better positioned to help your customers provide a long term profitable future.

Justin Smith