Agronomist of the Year
Jason Noy, Farmacy
Jason commenced his career as an Agronomist with Agrovista and then was given the opportunity to work for Farmacy, providing independent advice in the Hertfordshire and Cambridge area. Over the last five years he has developed his agronomy business covering over 22,000 acres, but also becoming an area manager and business development manager for Farmacy.
This role encompasses crop husbandry, advice for combinable crops, sugar beet, potatoes, maize & grass. It also includes advice on budgets, soil health, precision farming, cultivations, EFA compliance, assurance and stewardship schemes, as well as diversification opportunities and strategic planning. This level of advice and support to his customers has, in turn, led to their businesses being more profitable, enabling investment in diversification projects that are now returning extra non-agricultural income. This is a deliberate strategy to de-risk the farm ahead of the imminent changes to support payments. A longstanding customer of Jason’s said: “Without Jason’s advice, my business would be less profitable. He has also made me more environmentally aware and as a result I feel that the farm has now got the right balance between crop production and environmental measures.”
David Stead, Hutchinsons
David was born and brought up on a mixed family farm near Thirsk, North Yorkshire. He has always been interested in arable farming and following four years studying agriculture with crop management at Harper Adams University, he joined HL Hutchinson Ltd as a foundation trainee agronomist. It is with Hutchinsons that David has progressed his career as a very respected agronomist, continually furthering his knowledge base and expertise.
The size of farms he advises on varies from 40ha to over 1,000ha. In terms of acreage, he oversees 5,190ha cereals, 662ha potatoes, 360ha OSR, 360ha brassica veg, 200ha pulses, 160ha maize, 100ha beet, 90ha rhubarb, and 62ha of mixed herbs & salads. David is also the area business manager for the Yorkshire HLH team, organising and overseeing a team of six agronomists and four agronomist agents. David continues to develop his own training but also trains and mentors others. He strives to give advice on a wide area of agronomy, enabling farmers to fulfil their goals and ensure financial profitability for each farm business. One of David’s customers commented: “It is David’s true passion for agronomy that shines through. He has the capacity to think laterally and the depth of his knowledge, his attention to detail, his willingness to listen and then to explore a variety of solutions to the inevitable problems that crop up in farming, is the key to his success.”