Trials officer and trainee Procam agronomist Jodie Littleford has been awarded the Barrie Orme Shield for excelling in the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection.
A new entrant to agriculture, Ms Littleford secured a placement at Eurofins Agroscience as part of her biology degree at Cardiff University. She then spent three years in the crop trials department before taking on her Procam role two years ago.
“I initially started the BASIS training in late 2019, because I really enjoy seeing how biological processes affect crops,” says Ms Littleford.
“I wanted to better understand my research on new integrated approaches to crop husbandry.”
The gave her an excellent overview of everything involved in integrated crop management. “Part of the qualification involved carrying out a research task. My project involved looking into the plant health impact of mycorrhizal fungi on wheat varieties.”
Ms Littleford started her BASIS training with her research role in mind. But the knowledge gained during the course inspired her embark on a new career path. She is now in the process of becoming a fully qualified agronomist.
BASIS is the examining and awarding body for qualifications for agronomists. Each year, more than 200 people sit the BASIS exam – a required certificate of competence for anyone who sells or advises on crop protection products.
Ms Littleford said: “I certainly couldn’t have achieved this award without the excellent instruction and support from my expert trainer James Christian-Ilett. He taught me in a way that made information really stick in my mind.”
Now responsible for some 2,500 trial plots each year, Ms Littleford manages research and development at ProCam’s Stockbridge Technology Centre – and oversees other ProCam trials from Aberdeen to Devon.
BASIS chief executive Stephen Jacod said it was great to see a new entrant to agriculture showing determination to excel in her career and the exam. It proved that hard work and extended learning truly does pay dividends, he added.