Q&A with Peter Reed, Lead Apprentice Training Specialist in Agriculture

Q&A with Peter Reed, Lead Apprentice Training Specialist in Agriculture

A conversation with our Lead Training Specialist in Agriculture at STS, Peter Reed

Peter Reed has been developing, teaching and mentoring the next generation of Agricultural Apprentices for over 10 years, after coming from the familyd airy farming business, where he was a partner. Peter is now Lead Apprentice Training Specialist in Agriculture at Skern Training and Skills (STS) and has the privilege to be leading the upcoming launch of the new Level 4 Assistant Farm Manager (AFM) apprenticeship at STS.

What inspires your passion for farm management?

Being part of an industry that involves providing food for the nation and enhancing the land, is a privilege. My inspiration comes from seeing new entrants entering the industry and if I can play a part in their development of confidence, knowledge and skills to do this, then I am a happy person. There are so many opportunities in farming and being part of management means you can lead and inspire your team to be efficient, productive, and sustainable.

What aspects of this new Level 4 program are you most looking forward to teaching?

The real drive for me is looking at performance of an enterprise and the overall business, what is working well. We need to remember to celebrate successes because I feel, as an industry, we are looking at the negatives most of the time. But, in every business there is room for improvement, and I am looking forward to supporting learners in how to evaluate these, find solutions and implement changes to improve the overall performance.

How will this course build upon the student's existing knowledge and experience?

Within the work force in agriculture, there are several experienced team members that need or are looking for support with enhancing their own development into that next stage of their career and this course does just that. It supports the development of current skill sets of knowing your animals, soils, cropping, targets and linking this to the overall business strategy, market requirements, legislations and remembering, what drives the individual.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge with this new level of training?

Embracing in conversations with employers (which can be family members of more than one generation)/fellow students and team members, to evaluate the businesses physical and financial performances.

Can you describe a typical day-in-the-life of a Level 4 Farm Manager?

Being part of their team to ensure all understand where the business is going and how their work links to the overall strategy, having that cohesive team. Working with internal and external stakeholders to support yourself and the business. Evaluating, planning and implementing plans for all aspects of the business, such as health & welfare, soil management, environmental schemes, team appraisals, market requirements and ensuring the work life balance.

What future career opportunities may this advanced training open up for you?

Assistant Farm Manager apprenticeship is exactly that, it is supporting you to become a farm manager. This opens a number of opportunities and avenues for progression, such as estate farm management, farm succession planning, share farming agreement, tenancies and having more responsibility of where you work.

What sets top-level managers apart?

Being able to have a strong team-based approach, passion for making a difference to the business and driving it forward to being efficient, sustainable and overall financially sound for the future.

Are there any aspects of technology or automation in this course?

The programme focuses on recording your performance data and understanding what it is telling you. Increasingly technology is playing a major part in agriculture, so inevitably technology and automation will be incorporated into the programme.

Do you think farms of the future will operate much differently than traditional models?

Farm businesses who are fully engaged with the market requirements, legislations and building a strong work team around them will put them in good position for being successful moving forward. There is a lot to be learnt from the past, but the future is exciting for students today and this will only help with the evolution of the industry.

If you could give one piece of advice to those hoping to advance into farm management, what would it be?

Have confidence in yourself and do it! If you want to progress to farm management, this course will enhance your leadership skills, understanding of financial aspects of farm business, problem solving skills and make you an employable person.

Learn more about our new Level 4 Assistant Farm Manager apprenticeship here.
Ready to apply? See our opportunities and make an application here.

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