The LSA CT Fellowship Scheme has started; with 6 Fellows picked from across the horticulture industry. Their cumulative passion and drive for horticulture was outstanding during the interview stages.
Martin Emmett of the LSA Board of Trustees said “in the opening year of a scheme you cannot be sure what to expect; but the appetite for the scheme was clear. The calibre of applications received was outstanding, we narrowed those down to 6 exceptional Fellows who I believe will prosper during the scheme and take full advantage of the opportunities available to them”.
Throughout the 2 year programme our fellows will take part in meetings, conference and study tours which will broaden their exposure to the industry and help to further their journey on their professional management pathway.
Fellows taking part in the two-year Scheme
Daniel Meuldyk started his horticultural career 18 years ago, joining James Coles Nurseries with no prior experience in the industry. During his time in the business he has progressed through the company: from tree production to hardy shrubs, increasing his skill level and knowledge base throughout his journey
Libby Rowland is a new entrant into horticulture, after completing her degree in Environmental Biology at Lancaster University she carried out research into the effects of deficit irrigation on the quality and shelf life of potted culinary herbs for J Sainsbury’s PLC and Vitacress Herbs LTD, Libby was appointed as a research and development officer for Vitacress Herbs in 2018. “I am working towards an enlightening career in research and agronomy, with a strong desire to adapt well-established horticultural methods into more sustainable practices. This fellowship will go a long way to helping me achieve that goal, which I hope will have far-reaching advantages for industry.”
Matt Boyns is a Mechanical Engineer Graduate, who found his way into horticulture when taking a temporary job at Chingford Fruit Packers. Fortunately he enjoyed the industry so much that he took on purchasing, account management, commercial management roles in several large companies. He now works for JWE, Salad and Herb supplier as a Commercial Manager. “Professionally I have been commercially focused, yet I’m inquisitive and have always taken every opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the produce business”
Charles Croft has been with APS produce for almost 6 years now, starting his career in horticulture as a trainee Growing Manager after graduating from University. During his time at APS he has been promoted to Growing Manager with a focus on tomato production. Charles has a particular interest in pest and disease control using biocontrol and IPM.
Jason Daff started his career in horticulture working for Syngenta in their Herbicide Biology and Biomaterials Production division, responsible for their production of seeds and biological testing. Jason is currently the facilities manager at the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, as part of his role he consults on all horticultural matters including Propagation, husbandry, pest and disease identification. His interests lie in controlled environmental growing: optimising the manipulation of the growing environment to maximise plant performance.
Lucille Gilpin works for Ballytrone Nurseries in Northern Ireland, she has sole responsibility of their courgette crop. She describes gaining red tractor status as her greatest achievement so far, developing the QMS system. She completed a BSc (Hons) in Horticulture at Writtle College in 2017 and previously worked for Bulrush Horticulture as a laboratory assistant
The fellows will all be attending the upcoming AHDB Smart Hort conference which will give a great insight into labour saving technologies and also future improvements to production systems. The scheme is being supported by the National Farmers Union, British Growers Association, The Horticultural Trades Association, the Chartered Institute of Horticulture and Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board. The excellent array of supporting organisations have provided an array of diverse opportunities that the Fellows can attend, learn and develop.
The Managing agent for the LSA CT Fellowship Scheme Coral Russell said: “This is an excellent opportunity for up and coming executives in the horticulture industry to widen their perspective, make useful contacts, and equip themselves for a future role in leadership of the industry. These are exciting and challenges times for horticulture and I would urge anyone who wants to develop their career to apply to join the scheme.”