Jane Richards, a new Friend of the Guild, handles marketing and communications at MDS Ltd, the management training organisation for graduates entering the food and fresh produce industry.
Coming mainly from a sales/editorial and marketing background, Jane previously worked as editorial assistant and reporter for the Wisbech Standard and Eastern Daily Press before moving on to a freelance production role in publishing. Prior to joining MDS Ltd, she worked in a sales/marketing role for a group of estate agents as well as an agrochemical company.
Jane says she is passionate about the countryside and animals, and enjoys living the ‘good life’ in the country with her husband and three dogs.
“Having been brought up in the countryside, I have always loved outdoor activities such as horse riding,” she says. “I used to ride out with Cambridge University Drag Hounds but suffered a fractured coccyx in a fall, which meant I had to give up riding altogether. I still love going on long walks with the dogs, and enjoy growing my own veg, cooking and travel.”
At the age of 40, Jane decided to go back to school and took herself off to London to do a diploma in creative writing. This helped enormously, as she had her first novel published last year.
Married to Darren, who runs his own pest control company, Jane is used to dealing with countryside pests and once held a firearms license. “I’m a bit of a softie though and hated having to take shots at live targets so I used to deliberately miss,” she admits. “This resulted in hubby firing me. But in the end I managed to persuade him to give up shooting as well.”
Jane describes her role as Marketing and Communications Coordinator for MDS Ltd as her dream job: “I’ve always wanted to work for a non-profit organisation and although I’m relatively new here, I already feel really at home,” she says. “I’m given a lot of freedom to develop the role and I am currently working on creating a new website being launched in the New Year. I also get to travel the UK, attending careers fairs and agricultural shows such as LAMMA and the Cereals Event.”
Armed with her reporter’s notepad and camera, Jane also gets to visit the workplaces of some of the graduate trainees she helps to recruit, so she can share their success stories on line. “That’s one of the reasons I am delighted to have been accepted by the Guild, so I can network with others in the industry and keep up to date with current news,” she says.
“In 2016, MDS Ltd will celebrate 30 years training graduates in the food and fresh produce Industry, which is a huge achievement,” adds Jane. “I want to make people aware of this by raising our public profile. We are a unique organisation that works with more than 25 member companies (many of whom are household names) to help meet the challenges of an ever-changing industry.”
Note: Contact details for all new Members and Friends of the Guild are published in the eAlerts archived under Member Communications on this website. They can also be contacted through the Guild’s Farming Media Centre.