Day #4

On the 4th day of Christmas Genus ABS sent to me: 4 Grateful Graduates! 

Prior to the starting on Graduate Scheme I worked for a Cattle IVF company based in the Scottish Borders, helping to collect oocytes to feed into the lab and implant the embryos that were produced from these. Alongside this, I was working towards a degree in Agricultural Professional Practice at SRUC. This course is aimed at aspiring farm consultants, but I wasn’t sure about which role I wanted within farming, given there are so many options out there. The ability to try out different jobs was what made Genus’ Graduate Scheme stand out. 

The graduate programme is a role within Genus which allows you to explore and work within as broad a range of departments as you would like to. It lasts for 18 months, divided into 3 rotations. 6 months are spent with Genus ABS, 6 months with Promar and for the final 6 months you will be working within a department of your choice. At the interview day we were told that we would be able to tailor our day to day work to whatever interested us. At the time I was sceptical about this claim. However, with the help of my fantastic manager Larissa and the rest of our colleagues in Dairy Country (AKA Cheshire), I’ve been able to do just that. I’ve always been interested in agricultural supply chains so over the past few months I have been working my way along Genus ABS’s. I started at the point of sale on farms and worked backwards along the genetics supply chain, ending at the company’s nucleus herds. I began by shadowing the sales team over in North Wales, learning how they work with farmers to help improve their herds. Issues with heifer replacement numbers, cow longevity, even farm labour. You name it, we can fix it. Most of the time this is done with genetics (makes sense), herd planning and performance recording. However, I have also been exposed to complex silage samples and teat dip trials. Your local Genus ABS sales rep does so much more than you realize; and can help customers with so much more too. Next time you see them, please ask them about the problems they’ve helped to fix that week. I promise you’ll be surprised. 

As I have moved further back towards the start of the Genus ABS supply chain, I have been getting involved with setting up new feed efficiency trial units. I went to help (or hinder) the beef team putting in weigh scales at our new unit back in October, as well as learning about brand new water intake measurements and how they will help customers. I can proudly say I built the handling gates you will see there and picked up the pizzas for everyone’s lunch – a vital role. This is up and running now and enables us to double our testing capacity for beef bulls, enabling us to guarantee genetic improvement for customers’ herds at a much faster rate. As time has progressed, I have done less shadowing and started to actively help on projects. Last week I was over in Wales using my IVF and recipient management experience from Scotland: I went to help improve our production resilience for Angus and British Blue genetics. This week I will be rolling out new changes to allow our RMS customers to monitor their herd fertility in real-time. The whole point is that by the end of the Grad Scheme we will have a broad knowledge of how the company is run and the amount of work that goes into each straw of genetics. I have been learning so much from the farmers that we partner with. About the challenges they face but also the ideas they use to overcome these. Each of the Graduates have been working hard to learn and earn their place within the company so that we can help Genus ABS to be better at helping the farming industry in the future. Regardless of if you’re new to farming or if you’re a 6th generation livestock expert, please get in touch to see how we can work for you, or how you could work for us.

Written by George Peart, Graduate Management trainee