Becky Finbow

My Agrovista story

Hello, I’m Becky Finbow, and I’m currently an agronomist with Agrovista working in Suffolk and Norfolk. I started with Agrovista two and a half years ago after finishing my degree in Agriculture with Crop Management from Harper Adams University. During my time at Harper Adams, I completed an industrial placement year at BASF; organising crop protection products for hundreds of trials whilst also helping to drill, spray and harvest them. It was a brilliant year and with their monthly weed and disease IDs, it really helped to give me a head start in agronomy. Prior to this, I spent many summers working on our family farm in Suffolk learning from both my Dad and Grandad on how to do things.. and also how not too

When I started with Agrovista, I needed to complete my BASIS qualification and start to build up some business. Unfortunately at that time, a colleague had become unwell, so I began walking fields with him and helped with paperwork where necessary. A year on, and with the support of the company, I now look after a lot of these growers and (fingers crossed), have managed to keep up the previous high level of service. Day-to-day I walk all sorts of crops, from wheat and grapes to fodder beet and sunflowers, whilst liaising with some of the kindest farmers with a mutual desire for the highest economic yield. I have since achieved my FACTs qualification and continue to learn something new every single day. The people have to be the best part of this job. I turned down jobs from competitors, predominantly because of the wonderful people I had met through my interview process at Agrovista. Firstly my colleagues, well you couldn’t get any better – the South Anglia Team are so supportive, always at the end of the phone when I need advice or cheering up because the weather is awful (AGAIN!). The farmers I have met through my journey have been some of the most welcoming, funny, supportive people I have ever met. One farmer even makes me a bacon sandwich on a Monday morning! It is so humbling that they are willing and happy to support a young woman in a previously male-dominated industry; deep down I think they all quite impressed by my spreadsheets and colour coding!

I think being a female in this job can sometimes be quite challenging. It’s well known that agriculture is traditionally a man’s world, but the world is changing slowly but surely. I grew up on a farm where I had to prove myself every day, whether that was reversing trailers or loading lorries, but I did it. This job is the same – a colleague told me when I started the job that as wrong as it might sound, women have to work doubly hard to be seen as the same as men. Yes there have been farmers I’ve met that are unsure of female agronomists, but actually the growers I work with have learnt that women can be as good at agronomy as men – sometimes even better! And one day hopefully everyone will think like this..