With extensive experience in horticultural research, new Guild Member Jason Pole says he had been looking to diversify into communications for a number of years.
As a communications executive at HGCA, Jason is responsible for communicating a wide variety of cereals and oilseeds research findings produced by the levy-funded Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
“At HGCA, we embrace the full range of communications channels – from digital and print media to practical grower events,” says Jason. “The number of potential topics and opportunities for communication means that there’s never a dull moment in the office!”
After studying horticulture at the University of Reading – a period that included one year in Brazil researching cocoa production – Jason worked briefly at NIAB and Cambridge University Farm before spending 10 years conducting horticultural research at the University of Warwick.
“My time at Warwick was varied; work included contributing to the development of genetic maps and conducting environmental desk studies on behalf of Defra,” says Jason. “Whatever I was working on, I was always careful to make sure the findings were conveyed to the right audience via an array of channels – including events, popular articles, website content and technical reports.”
When the AHDB moved to Warwickshire in 2009, he took the opportunity to graduate from researching to commissioning research within AHDB’s Horticulture division (HDC).
“As I’m passionate about communicating best and better practice to improve the sustainability and profitability of all those involved in food production, I leapt at the opportunity to move to HGCA in 2012 to work in a full-time communications role,” he says.
Beyond the ‘nine-to-five’, Jason is married to an exhibitions manager at Compton Verney Art Gallery. They have a two-year-old daughter.