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Young Farmers profile: Tom Clancy from Openfield explains the value of knowledge and networking

PUBLISHED: 09:10 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:10 19 December 2017

Tom Clancy, of Diss Young Farmers, in a grain store. Picture: Norfolk Young Farmers.

Tom Clancy, of Diss Young Farmers, in a grain store. Picture: Norfolk Young Farmers.

Norfolk Young Farmers

As part of our regular series of profiles on the region’s Young Farmers’ Club members, 25-year-old farm business manager TOM CLANCY explains the value of knowledge and networking in a global industry.

From a young age I’ve always had a keen interest in agriculture and I always like to challenge the status quo to try to improve my farming practices.

In the summer holidays I took on harvest jobs and by the time I finished school, my passion for farming was set. I then went on to study agricultural business management, graduating six years ago.

Since, I have been given the opportunity to work on farms globally, gaining invaluable work and life experiences, applying myself to the job in hand along with guidance by my employers. My previous employer helped me achieve my goal to become BASIS qualified in 2015, with a FACTS qualification on the cards for a winter project this year.

Because I am not from an immediate farming background, I started on the back foot through a lack of contacts in the industry. The help of Young Farmers has most definitely changed this through meeting guest speakers at the club, various farm visits and fellow members sharing their experiences and knowledge over the years.

Another great way of networking has been through the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association. I have been a steward at the Royal Norfolk Show for nine years, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. It is one of the most highly regarded shows in the UK, at which it is a pleasure to steward.

I now work as a farm business manager for one of the UK’s leading agricultural co-operatives called Openfield, which is based at the company’s Norfolk branch in Bressingham. With this I am involved in many farming businesses, focusing on establishing long-term relationships and building a rapport with my customers.

My general day is fast-paced and varied, and consists of keeping customers informed on global and UK markets, using different marketing tools and solutions to help farmers make decisions to sell or buy based on global news and forecasts. If I am not visiting or talking to farmers, I am reading relevant articles in the farming press and trying to establish links in general news to see how it could affect the market. My role also involves recommending seed varieties and treatments, as well as selling fertiliser.

I would stress for those who are thinking about going along to Young Farmers to give it a try. It has proven invaluable to me, both on the social and business side. Young Farmers has members from all different careers, inside and outside of agriculture, and whether it be at a meeting, a social, a dinner dance or anywhere – there’s always someone to have a laugh with. I am particularly looking forward to Diss YFC’s 75th Ball at the Norfolk Showground on June 16.


Name : Tom Clancy

Age : 25

Occupation : Farm business manager

Location: Openfield, Bressingham

YFC club : Diss YFC

How long have you been a YFC member? Eight 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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