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Young Farmers profile: Farmer’s daughter Harriet Johnson is on the road to business management

PUBLISHED: 09:41 24 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:20 24 May 2018

Harriet Johnson, Diss Young Farmers. Picture: Norfolk Young Farmers

Harriet Johnson, Diss Young Farmers. Picture: Norfolk Young Farmers

Norfolk Young Farmers

As part of our regular series of profiles on the region’s Young Farmers’ Club members, HARRIET JOHNSON talks about her career journey from the family farm to training for management at malt producer Muntons.

The grain handling and storage facility at Muntons in Stowmarket.The grain handling and storage facility at Muntons in Stowmarket.

After finishing my A Levels in 2013 and gaining a deferred place at the Royal Agricultural University to study international business management, I decided to have a gap year – much to parents dismay as I had not got anything lined up to do.

So the deal was that I had to help on the family farm until I had put some other arrangements in place. Well, it only took one day on the potato grader to make me realise that I never wanted to grade potatoes again. So from then on I arranged some work experience and trips in between, which was when I first came across Muntons.

In February 2014 Muntons offered me some work experience in the marketing team which I was absolutely delighted about. Everybody was so welcoming and I learned so much but I know one thing – being a farmer’s daughter made me think that I knew quite a lot about the food industry and how food got from field to fork. However, my first day taught me that was not the case and I actually knew very little.

The application of malt in different ingredients was something which particularly took me by surprise, and has made me take a bigger interest in exactly what I am eating. Even now when I tell people malt goes into the middle of a Malteser they look surprised.

However my work at Muntons did not stop there. In June 2014, I was given the opportunity to work in the grain buying team over the summer before I started university. I had to speak to merchants and farmers, process all of the loads of barley that came in and write crop reports.

I really enjoyed working in an office environment within the industry that I know. I was very sad to leave Muntons and go to university but I had the best three years and would urge anybody thinking about going to university to go. Fortunately for me every summer I came home from university Muntons gave me a summer job back in the grain buying team taking on a little bit more responsibility each time. Last year I did all of the scheduling for the loads of grain coming to the site at Stowmarket.

Having finished university I am now working full time at Muntons as a graduate management trainee currently based in the procurement team implementing a process change across the business. No two days are ever the same but I can say that I am really enjoying working with a range of people across the business. As well as being on the graduate scheme I am doing a management qualification at college.

Despite never wanting to grade potatoes again, I do occasionally help out on the farm feeding the turkeys or bagging up potatoes and more recently driving the lorry as I have passed my Class 1 driving licence.

PROFILE:

Name: Harriet Johnson

Age: 22

Occupation: Graduate management trainee at Muntons

YFC Club: Diss

How long have you been a YFC member?: Four years

• Diss YFC meets at Burston Pavilion, Tucks Mill, on Wednesday evenings. For more details about Norfolk Young Farmers contact the county office on 01603 731307.


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