Connor Tindall-Read – Holkham Farming Company

“Working at Holkham, which through within Catalyst Farming is a business that wants to take farming to a whole other level, was an opportunity I did not want to miss.

We go around each other’s farms and they are really good to learn from. From starting as a trailer driver and stock person I have progressed and now, in just five years, I am Holkham’s Technical Manager. They put me through loads of training. Anything technology-oriented and data-capture, I am responsible for. I work with Dominic Swan the data analyst for our group. I also give day to day help to any of the farm staff, basically keeping the wheels turning, making sure everything is in the right place. Technology has to be in the right place at the right time to use it.

Farming is something you learn, just like any other job. It’s a mindset, you pick that up and find you learn all the while. My goal at Holkham is to move us towards a more controlled traffic system, to push our efficiency even higher.

To attract the best talent, you have to give training. In farming we have got to get past the idea of having a lot of take from the staff and not a lot of give. For younger staff, have to let them make some decisions: tell them ‘here is a field that we want planted, to this standard and by when but how you do it is up to you’. That will go a long way to make people feel they are making an impact. I see so many farms with a mentality of get what can out of staff. I don’t think they realise that if they dial it back bit, invest more in building their staff skills, let them have reasonable time off so they have healthy relationships at home, then the business will do better as a result.”