Vencomatic UK is highlighting the various and exciting roles that the industry has to offer and the women who are doing them.
Whether it’s the friendly voice at the end of the phone, the marketing exec who keeps you up to date or the smiling face you see when you need help with your birds, it’s not just the fantastic work of the farmers in the field that keep the industry moving.
Celebrating women across the agricultural industry has had a successful response since July and consequently, Vencomatic UK, one of the leading poultry equipment suppliers, has turned to some of the ladies in its own coop to showcase the alternative and exciting roles that the industry has to offer and the various routes into them.
Rebecca Wilson: Customer Service Coordinator
Rebecca was no stranger to the world of agriculture when she joined Vencomatic UK. Having lived on the family farm her whole life, she has always been hands on with arable and livestock and early memories from nursing lambs influenced her decision to pursue a career in farming. Therefore, after completing a bachelor’s degree in Human, Social and Political Sciences and a Masters in Rural Estate Management, she returned to Yorkshire to join Vencomatic UK as a graduate trainee working towards a senior management. In this role, her day-to-day work varies and can include assisting customers, breakdowns and servicing and, recently, branching into project management.
She expresses what she loves about her position: “The poultry sector offered me a new challenge and the opportunity to get to grips with some of the more complex elements involved in the production of chicken and eggs. For example, environmental impacts and welfare concerns are at the forefront of what Vencomatic does”.
Reflecting on the initiative to highlight women across the industry, Rebecca draws on her own experiences stating that: “It’s not unusual for people to be shocked and surprised by the fact that the females on the farm can know what they’re talking about when it comes to agriculture.”
She adds: “At a time when British agriculture is very much subject to the public eye, having motivated, knowledgeable and enthusiastic females who are encouraged to either stay or join the industry can only strengthen it.”
When encouraging women both in and out of the industry to consider the various roles within farming, her advice would be to: “Aim high, always… and be confident that you can achieve what you set out to do, even if you face hurdles or criticism along the way! If you are wanting to get into agriculture (or any industry which is new to you), take advice from as many people as possible, and be willing to give up a bit of your time for free to begin with if this means you can learn something new.”
Emma Barber: Administrative Assistant
In contrast to Rebecca, Emma joined the industry with no prior experience in farming, initially beginning her career with her own beauty business. However, since joining Vencomatic UK, her role has “opened [her] eyes to the amazing work that everyone does and how much happens ‘behind the scenes’.” From contacting customers, working with engineers, and keeping on top of paperwork and diary schedules, she has been able to adapt to various demands whilst leaning about the industry.
Explaining her view on the industry before Vencomatic, she states that: “My opinion has drastically changed. I cannot believe the amount of work, effort and hours that go into farming and poultry alone – and I had no idea about the amazing sheds that we build and the welfare-enhanced equipment that we use.”
Consequently, highlighting the amazing work of females in farming, Emma thinks that: “It will help to open people’s eyes to see the great work that women do and the big part they play in the industry.”
She finishes: “I am proud to be a woman and I am proud to be in the poultry industry and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for us.”
Amy Sharpe: Poultry Manager
Amy’s experience within the industry is vast and exciting. Starting with her BSc in Agriculture, and completing a placement year through the British Poultry Council, she secured a scholarship with Moy Park. She states: “I thoroughly enjoyed my year-long placement in all aspects of broiler production and I considered an industry I otherwise wouldn’t have.” After later completing a placement with at LJ Fairburn and Son, she found a love for the laying side of poultry and soon returned after graduating to be the company’s Agricultural Manager.
Early this year, she joined Vencomatic UK as Poultry Manager, where her role involves monitoring red mite and ammonia, supporting farmers across the country and researching the welfare benefits of cutting-edge R & D.
She comments: “It is great to work for a senior team of ‘blue sky’ thinkers, driven to leave a positive stamp on the poultry sector.”
It’s not only the welfare and research aspects that Amy is proud of in her role. She speaks about the recent work in promoting women in agriculture: “I think women are a lot more prevalent in the industry than they were 20 years ago as both the industry and the home-work life balance has changed.”
Overall, Amy welcomes females from all sectors and industries to consider a career in agriculture, saying: “Focus on your goals, but remember there is more than one way from A to B. Don’t fret if you don’t go the way you planned – just keep going.”
Lizzie McLaughlin: Graphic Designer and Marketing Executive
One of the more creative roles in the Vencomatic team is Lizzie’s work as a Designer and Marketing Exec. After studying her BA in English and finishing her MA in Design, she started her journey with Vencomatic UK, working on a range of campaigns from strategy planning, advertising, events management, web and promotional material design, to editorials and press releases.
She states: “I love how diverse my role is and that I can contribute to making a difference; highlighting the excellent work we do from welfare and renewable energy, to the women in Ag initiative”.
Before joining the poultry industry, Lizzie had a different view of agriculture.
“Not coming from a farming background, I was detached from my food and did not consider the hard work and intricacies of agriculture. Sadly, I envisioned that farming was a predominantly male industry, strictly confined to labour roles. However, after almost three years at Vencomatic, I now fully appreciate what the industry has to offer, the amazing work our farmers do (both male and female) and that the roles in agriculture are vast; from business, to design roles, to project management.”
As a result, she has found that having a main role in promoting women in Agriculture and showcasing the diverse roles that the industry has to offer has been extremely rewarding. She talks about her involvement: “It has been interesting to interview so many talented women and see a wide range of stories. From those who have been in farming all their life to the women who haven’t, the passion and optimism from the women in the industry is both uplifting and empowering.’
Reflecting on the various roles of the team, Vencomatic UK hopes to not only celebrate some of the amazing women in the industry but inspire those who may not have considered a career in agriculture, to start doing so.