Guild member Sarah Palmer is working at the University of Warwick for the Warwick Business School (WBS) in a business development role with WBS Executive Education, focusing on strategic and business development and marketing open programmes.
“WBS executive education helps individuals accelerate their careers and organisations develop their staff and organisational capabilities,” she explains.
Sarah has previously enjoyed 25 years’ experience of communication projects, policy work and campaigns within or associated with the agricultural industry for organisations including GJW Government Relations, Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE), Farm Energy Centre, National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) and agricultural PR agencies.
She worked with young farmers for eleven years supporting the NFYFC agriculture and rural affairs committee. As well as representing NFYFC on industry and government working and stakeholder groups for subjects ranging from the Year of Food & Farming, London 2012 to CAP Reform, she worked with industry partners and government to devise innovative development and training events whilst securing and maintaining NFYFC’s Defra grant.
“I’m still a voluntary adviser to the Henry Plumb Foundation, working with the trustees to establish Lord Plumb’s legacy to the agricultural industry,” she says. “The foundation was set up in 2012 to support young people (18-35) who are forging careers in the food and farming industries. It provides financial support as well as industry mentors assigned to each successful candidate.”
Two fellow Guild members, Simon Hayley and Milly Wastie, have secured awards to further their career aims – Simon with his social media and communication projects and Milly with her new pig enterprise. Sarah is also Simon’s mentor.
“It has been a great privilege to work with Lord Plumb, Professor John Alliston and his distinguished group of trustees and supporters helping to provide opportunities for young people,” says Sarah. “The abundance of intelligence, determination and enthusiasm amongst the candidates is heartening and all those involved with the foundation continue to work hard to further its aims.”
A fellow adviser is Guild member Angus Chalmers of RDP Advertising & Marketing, who with his colleagues has delivered the foundation’s new website, while fellow Guild members Rosie Carne and David Richardson are Foundation trustees. Candidates have commented that the interviews have been as helpful and interesting as the awards!
The third tranche of interviews took place in July at The Farmers Club and three more awards were made, bringing the total to 25.
• Tom Martindale, 26, will be expanding his small business of breeding sheep for lamb, run alongside his family’s established, home reared and processed pork business. The award will allow him to increase his flock size, improve point of sale material and add value to his products by producing sausages, burgers, BBQ products and put recently acquired charcuterie skills to use.
• Sarah Stobart, 21, a lecturer in agriculture at Newton Rigg College, Cumbria will be using her award to develop the diversification projects and long term sustainability of Howbeck Lodge, her family’s 250 acre sheep farm – the only Feather Down Farm (family glamping on the farm) in the Lake District. Sarah is now developing a gift shop featuring regional produce including Herdy items, celebrating her Herdwick ewes, and meat produced on the farm.
To date, recipients of awards have included young people from all parts of Great Britain. Whether starting with a nugget of a business idea and needing help with training or equipment, expanding an existing business or developing a business opportunity through a PhD research project, all are welcome to submit ideas for consideration.
New applicants are now being accepted in readiness for the next round of awards to be presented at the end of the year. To apply, or find out about becoming a mentor, visit the Henry Plumb Foundation website.