This week’s Sector Spotlight is on Land-based industries, which includes farming and the various businesses that support it. Today we hear from Kerry Omand who is a Regional Policy Advisor for NFU Scotland and a Farmer.
Kerry began her career working the care sector before going back to farming and taking on her role with NFU Scotland. Last year, Kerry was awarded the Young Livestock Ambassador Award at the Royal Highland Show and she writes a monthly column, ‘Kerry on Farming’ in The Orcadian.
Can you describe a typical day in your job?
I am lucky in that my work is different every day.
My work on the farm varies throughout the year but peaks in the spring time when it’s calving and lambing time. In the Autumn I help with ‘doing the byres’.
My role with the NFU sees me meeting with farmers and attending meetings to represent their views and feedback any changes at national level.
How did you end up in your current roles?
It’s fair to say I was discouraged from pursuing farming as a career by my family as they know how hard farming is to get into. As a result I ended up going on a different career path for a few years, mainly in care and support work before naturally going back to farming and working in a role which is very much farming based which I’m delighted to be doing.
I studied Mental Health and Counselling after leaving school in fifth year, so had an honours degree by the time I was 20.
What is the best thing about your job?
I love calving and lambing time. Being able to watch and assist new life is so amazing and I never get bored of it.
What is the worst thing about your job?
It can be anti-social and long hours at busy times of year. But ultimately, when things go wrong like losing a calf or feeling like you could have done things differently, as long as you learn from it that’s the main thing.
What skills do you need to undertake your role?
Time management is a big thing and being able to prioritise your work. You may have a job that you need to do but this will be put on hold if something happens like a poorly calf.
What qualifications do you have?
I have a First Class Honours degree in Mental Health and Counselling from Abertay University and three Highers.
Would you recommend this job to young people, if so why?
Yes, it is incredibly rewarding seeing the results of the work you put in and being able to work with animals every day is a bonus.
You can visit NFU Scotland on their:
You can read Kerry’s blog at: http://farmherkerry.co.uk/