20-year-old Christopher Hinch from Rutland in the East Midlands has always wanted to be a progressive farmer. Growing up on a family farm with laying birds, Chris says diversifying the family business has always been the ultimate goal, and through his placement with McDonald’s and Moy Park, he’s gaining the knowledge and experience to learn how.
“The agriculture industry is a diverse, exciting, and evolving sector. There is constant, non-stop innovation as we find new ways to meet consumer demand for food,” says Chris.
The prestigious McDonald’s Progressive Young Farmer’s Programme is aimed at developing future leaders in the food and farming industry and provides each student who secures a coveted spot with mentoring and hands on practical experience across the supply chain, from farm to fork.
A bird’s eye view
At Moy Park, Christopher is rotating through each area of the poultry supply chain, from hatcheries and farms to logistics and marketing, as well as spending time with McDonald’s at its head office in London.
“As a Progressive Young Farmer, you really do get a bird’s eye view of the whole farm to fork process,” explains Chris. “It could be easy for people to assume food production is all about farming, but in reality, there is a whole umbrella above the farmer, with a career to suit everybody!”
Chris says that what attracted him to the sector is the limitless opportunities. “There is always room for growth and improvement in food and farming – you can think about energy use and resources differently, pivot marketing, change packaging, review products and move into other areas – the possibilities are endless and I love the idea of having that level of freedom and growth potential.”
Chris says that young people should embrace a ‘no limits’ approach when looking at career opportunities. “When applying for the McDonald’s Progressive Young Farmer’s Programme, you had to submit a video. I decided to do mine a little differently and recorded and edited myself while out and about on the family farm. I think it’s good to challenge yourself to stand out.”
Spread your wings
Once Chris finishes the Young Farmer’s scheme and his placement with Moy Park, he will return for his fourth and final year at Harper Adams University where he is studying for a degree in agriculture. Looking ahead, Chris says he would be keen to go abroad and learn more about farming practices in other parts of the world. He says, “I’ve learnt first-hand from Moy Park what industry leading and best practice looks like and I’m keen to develop this further by bringing what I’ve learnt to other parts of the world. Moy Park has also taught me just how much I’ve enjoy working with and learning from others – from farming partners and vets to tutors and other young farmers – so I’m keen to travel and meet even more like-minded people.”
The search is on for the next McDonald’s Progressive Young Farmer cohort. Apply now.