Photo courtesy of British Growers

Six future leaders chosen for LSA horticulture program

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It wasn’t easy to pare down the list of remarkable candidates for positions in the LSA Charitable Fellowship Scheme that aims to “develop the future leaders of the commercial horticulture industry”, but several strong winners emerged to those who decide the placements.

The steering group picked six up-and-coming standouts to take part in a two-year program that begins 1st July, giving them an opportunity to sit in on meetings, conferences and study tours. The Scheme will allow them to see how trade bodies operate and how research and communication can be key strategies in making a difference in the industry.

“The calibre of applications was brilliant and their cumulative passion and drive for horticulture shone through during our online interviews,” said NFU horticulture adviser Rupert Weaver said. “Choosing only six candidates to offer the Fellowship was a challenge.”

The 6 fellows include:

Lauren Hladun, a supply chain technologist at Manor Fresh Ltd who managies a range of growers and crops on UK soil and abroad


Jed Knaggs, lead glasshouse grower at The Summer Berry Company who manages 16 hectares of production that helps supply major retailers with early and late season fruit

Dave Malcolm, a site manager who helps maintain nursery production at Worfield Plants which is a part Boningale Ltd

Ant Surrage, a technical development manager at Fargro, who develops and tests exclusive plant protection products and other technologies.

Isobel Tickner, product development assistant at Tozer Seeds who works with growers to help develop new and improved varieties

Robert Wickham, general farm manager for soft-fruit grower/packer Bardsley England who plans and schedules crop protection and nutrition as well as accurate budgeting and forecasting

The Fellowship, which is supported by the National Farmers Union, British Growers Association, The Horticultural Trades Association, the Chartered Institute of Horticulture and Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board, has experienced its challenges over the past year from the COVID-19 pandemic, as have many of its participants. But it says it expects its 18 current Fellows to be able to resume their trainings as well over the coming year.

“The Fellowship provides an excellent opportunity for up-and-coming executives in the horticulture industry to widen their perspective, create a network and equip themselves for a future role in leadership of the industry,” Coral Russell, Crop Association Executive at British Growers said. “These are exciting and challenging times for horticulture, and I think the Fellows will be vital in shaping our sector for the future.”

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