Beet researcher lands top Essex farming role

Jake Richards has become the new Essex county farm adviser for the National Farmers' Union. Picture:

Jake Richards has become the new Essex county farm adviser for the National Farmers' Union. Picture: NFU - Credit: NFU

A specialist in sugar beet and soil health has become the National Farmers’ Union’s (NFU’s) new county adviser for Essex.

Jake Richards joins the NFU East Anglia team after completing a PhD for sugar beet growers and the British Beet Research Organisation at the University of Nottingham.

He grew up on his family's farm between Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury in Suffolk and studied agricultural and crop science at Nottingham before undertaking his PhD.

"I've been researching the effects of cover crops on soil structure and the subsequent yield of sugar beet," he said.

"I've really enjoyed how practical and applied my PhD has been. The motivation that comes from working on something that is useful to farmers is very fulfilling. It's something I'm looking forward to continuing in my NFU role.

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"Essex is an extremely important county for food and farming. I'm keen to get to know the NFU members who farm there and to help them as best I can during this extremely challenging period for agriculture."

NFU Regional Director Rachel Carrington said: "The county adviser role is all about listening to, and working with, members in the heart of their community and striving to make a difference on their behalf.

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"Jake's knowledge and experience, and his passion for agriculture, will prove invaluable and I am pleased to welcome him to the regional team."

Mr Richards replaces Adam Scott, who has moved to a new role working alongside NFU East Anglia's six county advisers.

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