There cannot be many members of the Guild with a railway wagon at the bottom of their garden but Jo Learmonth, who joined in October, has one.
“I bought the dilapidated railway wagon to convert it into an art studio,” explains Jo. “In my spare time, if I’m not helping out on our mixed farm in Aberdeenshire, I create textile pictures, exhibiting in our renovated bothy.”
Jo only recently embarked on a career in freelance agricultural journalism, having participated in the Guild’s new entrants training award scheme in 2014. Later that year, she was joint winner of the QMS Bursary developed with the British Guild to attend the IFAJ Congress in Scotland.
“Coupled with the training scheme work experience with Farmers Guardian, this gave me the opportunity to meet and learn from lots of experienced agricultural journalists whose enthusiasm for the industry was infectious,” says Jo. “I am now thoroughly enjoying the challenge and variety of assignments that I’ve undertaken for clients such as Farmers Guardian, Jane Craigie Marketing and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).”
Jo’s background has been invaluable in her new career; she has a BSc (Hons) in agriculture, specialising in crop production, and an MSc in crop protection. After completing her degrees, Jo worked as a research technician focusing on soil and seed science in African agriculture.
“My main interests are crop production systems and agronomy but we have sheep, a suckler cow herd and finish cattle on the farm, so I also have experience of livestock.”
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.