Young Farmers profiles: Ella Drake
As part of our regular series of profiles on the region's Young Farmers' Club (YFC) members, ELLA DRAKE talks about her important role behind the scenes in the seed industry.
Growing up on a family farm, I have always had an interest in working in the agricultural industry.
After leaving school I studied at Easton College, before earning a degree in agri-food marketing with business studies at Harper Adams University. For my work placement year I worked as a trainee development agronomist for a commercial chemical company. Once I graduated, I immediately started working for Grainseed, a seed company where I am still working more than two years on, based just outside Eye in Suffolk.
For the first year I worked on the trials side of the business, which allowed me to travel a lot with the job. After a year I decided I would prefer to be office-based, so I now work in the office doing an administration role. This has allowed me more spare time to get involved in Young Farmers again, as well as joining the local hockey club.
This time of year is extremely busy for us – whenever farmers are drilling, we are busy in the office. I love working as part of a small team as it means I get involved in all parts of the business. Last November I was given the responsibility of coordinating our accreditations such as TASCC. BASIS and SOPA. This is a new challenge for me which I’m still trying to get organised. It keeps me busy when it’s quieter in the office in the winter.
I joined Countrysiders when I was about 12 years old. My closest club at the time was North Walsham. 12 years on I have stayed a loyal member of North Walsham Young Farmers, despite now living more than an hour away. My favourite part of Countrysiders was always the annual conservation campout. Now I am a senior member this is still a weekend I really look forward to. Helping out is just as much fun as when I used to attend as a Countrysider.
I have always enjoyed competing at stock judging. This year at the Royal Norfolk Show I won various rosettes as well as the John Broom trophy. Another competition which I look forward to is the Young Farmers hockey league. Last season North Walsham Young farmers managed to win the league.
One of the best parts of being a senior member of Young Farmers is the various socials and dinner dances. This year I hold the role of Norfolk’s social and marketing chair, as well as being press officer for North Walsham young farmers, so hopefully I can organise some successful events this year for members to enjoy.
Young Farmers is a big part of my life and I would like this to continue for as long as possible. I would like to continue helping out when I can to ensure the younger or newer members get as much out of young farmers as I have.
Name: Ella Drake.
Occupation: An administrator at Grainseed.
Location: Eye, Suffolk.
YFC Club: North Walsham.
How Long have you been a YFC member?: 12 Years.
North Walsham YFC meets at Rossi’s on Tungate Road on Tuesday evenings. For more information on Norfolk Young Farmers, contact 01603 731307.