Maxwell Amenity had the great pleasure of hosting several final year Hons Agronomic students from Harper Adams University. Students were accompanied by Simon Allen, a Senior Lecturer in Agronomy from the University, to provide an insight into the amenity and sports turf industry and highlight shared fundamentals, challenges and opportunities of the agricultural and amenity-horticultural sectors.
The visit also gave the students the opportunity to understand the role of a Technical Manager and Agronomic adviser and experience the internal workings of a distributor within the amenity sector.
Dan Hughes, Maxwell Amenity’s Sales and Marketing Director, introduced the students to the size of the business, the customers they serve, and the size of the industry; and the exciting opportunities ahead with the impending Agrovista acquisition of our business. Dan stated; “We hope the experience will help students gain insight into the amenity sector and consider how transferable agronomy skills can be potentially applied.
The Harper Adams Agronomic students were given a group presentation from the Maxwell Technical team. James Grundy, Senior Technical Manager, gave an insight into his personal path at Maxwell Amenity and his skill set, life at the coal face, industry trends and issues and how they parallel Agriculture. John Handley, Technical Manager, discussed the importance of data and process driven analytics with relatable interpretation and practical implementation. Dr Abigail Graceson, who had previously been a Researcher at Harper Adams, provided observations from jumping the fence from agriculture to amenity, the difference between trial work and marketing trial work; and the challenges, barriers and importance of linking academia with industry.
Simon Allen, Senior Lecturer in Agronomy said, “Our thanks go to the staff at Maxwell Amenity for hosting one of the best trips we have had for some time. You could see by the questions that they were asking, the students were clearly engaged by the presentations, and they found the whole visit really informative, and enjoyable too.”
The day finished with a site tour demonstrating the importance of the various commercial departments and how they all contribute to creating and fulfilling a sale and providing a positive customer experience.
James Grundy, quoted “It was a pleasure to host the group of final year Agronomy students and provide them with an introduction to the sports turf and amenity-horticulture sectors. All land-based industries are challenged with meeting legislative and climatological change, as well as the adoption and integration of new management techniques and technologies. Whenever two organisations can come together in the spirit of gaining insight and awareness of each other’s reality, it is a rewarding and enlightening process. As a technical team, we gained as much from listening to and responding to the student’s insightful questions, as we hope they did from the presentations and site tour.”