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What does an Agriculture & Compliance Supervisor do?

Robert GiddensAn Agriculture & Compliance Supervisor needs to understand topography and agronomy, whilst also being a brilliant communicator. Robert Giddens, one of our very own Agriculture & Compliance Supervisors, explains more about his role…

Tell us more about what you do…

I work on the South West Water contract in the land management biosolids recycling team. We cover all of Devon and Cornwall and it is my job to distribute biosolids to farms to use as fertiliser. I get involved in the entire process, from taking orders to organising the spreading.

What does an average day look like?

There isn’t one! I normally start my day checking emails but from there I could be on a farm speaking to customers, taking soil samples, arranging contractors, or analysing reports and agronomy.

Tell us more about agronomy…

It is the study of soil health. In my case, I am checking to ensure the farmer’s land is compliant to have the additional nitrogen, phosphate, potash and, in some cases, lime that the biosolids will supply. It’s all about understanding the topography* of the land and combining that with our agronomy studies to ensure we achieve the right nutrient balance.

*Topography is the natural features of land, i.e. hills, valleys and rivers.

What is the favourite part of your job?

All of it! I get to build relationships with brilliant people and see the best views of my home county free of charge every day. And I am part of a large scale recycling operation that many people don’t even realise exists!

bio solids landWhat’s the most challenging part of your job?

I always say that the weather is in charge of my work, not me! This can make accessing the land with an HGV very difficult. Our 32 tonne 8 wheelers don’t like mud much and it’s very hilly around here. When we get stuck, we really get stuck!

What would you say to anyone considering this job as a career?

I wish I knew this job even existed when I was studying horticulture in the late 80s. If I did, I would have been here quicker! If you like building relationships and don’t want a 9-5 job (I have often sat talking late into the evening with farmers because that’s when they are free) I would say go for it. I genuinely think this is the best job in the world.

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