Agrovista supports next generation of agronomists

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Agrovista has welcomed two new trainees to the team.

23-year-old James Blair recently graduated from Myerscough College with a first class honours degree in agricultural crop science.

Having grown up on his family’s dairy farm in Cumbria, James took an interest in crops during his degree. He then gained hands-on experience through shadowing agronomists and working two harvests in the Cotswolds. 

Based near Carlisle, he joins the north west team working alongside Simon Nelson and Steven Gate, and will start studying for his BASIS qualification. 

James, who enjoys playing rugby, said: “It’s important to me to have a career strongly associated with practical farming, so as I became more interested in the arable side of agriculture, agronomy became the obvious choice.

“Agrovista is a progressive business and forage is an important element within that, which is something that I can strongly relate to having come from a dairy farm.

 “So although I’m not from an arable background and this might prove a challenge, I also think it’s an opportunity. I’m open-minded and really looking forward to learning more about areas such as soil health and how this can have a positive impact for farmers in my region.”

Also joining Agrovista is 22-year-old Alice Bourne. Having graduated with a first class honours degree in geography, Alice was awarded a scholarship to complete a master’s degree in sustainable crop production at Warwick University. 

Originally from Pocklington in Yorkshire, she spent three summers working as a field trials assistant for Eurofins and more recently, has worked at a dairy and poultry farm in Warwickshire.

Alice joins Agrovista’s Shrewsbury team and will also be starting her BASIS training. She said: “I found that the land management and soils elements of my geography degree really appealed to me, and so chose to research nitrate leaching for my undergraduate dissertation project.

James Blair

James Blair

“I undertook work experience with Peter Dews from Agrovista which I really enjoyed, and it was thanks to their support that I was able to source a suitable trials site for my master’s research project. It all fell into place and Agrovista made a lasting impression.

“I’m really looking forward to learning more about the precision side of farming which has become a key interest of mine, as well as building confidence in my own abilities.” In her spare time, Alice enjoys running and cycling, as well as playing the violin. 

Commenting on the new recruits, Commercial Director Jon Tanner, said: “It’s great to welcome new talent into the business at what is undoubtedly a very exciting time for UK agriculture.  

“Alice and James will be working alongside some of Agrovista’s best agronomists during their training, and I’ve no doubt they will become valued partners to their customers as their careers develop.”

To find out more about working at Agrovista, visit



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