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Lee Oxborough

Learning on the land

When I left school, my first job was fixing & driving tractors. I came away from the spanners and began my journey into the world of crop inputs. My day job evolved to include flying drones, practicing agronomy and trialling new chemistry, before I joined AF to lead your AF Crop Protection team.

I’m now Head of Crop Inputs (Seed, Fertiliser and Crop Protection). Like several of my colleagues on the team I have full BASIS qualifications, and all of the relevant practical PA certifications.

 

A hunger for success

I love adding value, and get a real buzz from bringing Members on board with AF Crop Inputs. Identifying and then delivering those initial savings (both money and hassle), then finding ways Members can make even more savings with their membership. I’m hungry to keep doing more, better, and it’s AF Crop Inputs’ independence that allows us to do that.

Our team is evolving, from simple order takers waiting for the phone to ring, to a group of proactive, go-getting, value-adding specialists, each bringing their own expertise and new ideas.

My own career started in a very different place to where I am now, and I love the idea of growing and developing my colleagues’ careers.  It may sound strange, but whilst someone must always available in the office to help you and other Members, I don’t want the team sat at their desks five days a week! I actively encourage them to get out to events, meet with Members, make visits on farm and both develop and share their expertise. One of the advantages of our independence is that we can respond to exciting new developments within the sector, we’re not limited to our own single range of products.

On the horizon

Where do I start? I have some big plans that we’re already starting to implement. Luckily for me, my team share my vision. We’re just getting started so watch this space.

One of our top priorities is our sustainability journey. We’re hosting Crop Inputs Spring Sustainability Roadshows later this month, where I hope to see many of you. We’ll tackle big topics including Sustainable Farming Incentives and sustainable cropping and product options. I want to focus on how to make sustainable farming actually work for farmers and growers, rather than it becoming a millstone round your neck or a boring buzzword! Register here if you’d like to join us.

And we have to acknowledge the dwindling availability of synthetic products in both Crop Protection and Fertiliser. There are alternatives, both in development and already in use, and I’m keen to understand how our Members can, and will, benefit from them.

We’ll see more emphasis on the importance of seed breeding and genetics – the right crop in the right place to reduce the need for pest and disease control and nutrition.

Although the current agricultural landscape looks extremely challenging, we must consider the ‘silver linings’ and the future for Crop Inputs is so exciting. I want our team to be at the forefront of this change, bringing you options, insights and expertise.

Back at the ranch

At home, in my own little corner of Suffolk, I’m kept busy with our horses and two spaniels. I’m currently building an extension, with lots of glass and oak that will give us plenty of extra space for my 20 month old son to run around. My wife is looking forward to hosting friends and family this summer, so I’m being held to very strict deadlines. But I am getting a new timber-frame workshop in return!

To get a rest from the building work, I love to ski (in fact I recently spent a week hitting the slopes), am a keen fisherman and enjoy shooting during the season. Some of you may have even seen myself and AF Livestock Inputs’ Feed & Equipment specialist Alastair Nottage on adjacent pegs recently!

Lee Oxborough Head of Crop Inputs

lee.oxborough@af.farm  01603 881 931

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