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Carol Johnson PMIAgrM CEnv

Carol (Caz) Johnson CEnv is an Agricultural Consultant with Hexham and Northern Rural, the chartered surveying and land agency division of Hexham and Northern Marts.

Caz grew up on the family farm in Appleby, Cumbria and spent her first 18 years helping with milking, lambing, clipping, feeding, harvesting and anything else that came along. After graduating from Newcastle University, she worked for the RPA inspections team carrying out on farm inspections of stock, records and land. At Hexham Auction Mart she works with clients across the North East, Cumbria and County Durham. Specialist areas are Basic Payment Scheme, Environmental and Countryside Stewardship, Agricultural Transition and ELMS.

How does Institute membership help you in your current role?

With the agricultural industry tending to become more specialised, I am keen to maintain a broad spectrum of knowledge to help me in my daily job. Membership is invaluable for personal development, CPD and wide networking opportunities.

Through membership I have been able to achieve Chartered Environmentalist status and consequently was shortlisted as a finalist in the 2022 Recent Newcomer category in the SocEnv 2022 Awards.

The current rapidly changing face of the industry highlights the increasingly important environmental element of agriculture and this will become an increasing part of my professional role.  Having a recognised qualification within the agricultural sector provides rigour to my professional duties.

Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years’ time?

I want to continue to be involved in delivering trusted high quality and bespoke advice and services to farmers, landowners and other agents in the agricultural community. I want to be the ‘go to’ person for my clients.

I think my role will change significantly in some areas such as the advice delivered, but remain the same in the way that I will still be delivering advice to progressive, keen and ambitious people who want to forge ahead as well as looking after the smaller upland farms which form the foundation of the whole industry and are the lynchpin in local communities. This is where my real passion lies.

Future agricultural policy will see a time come where some farmed land will be managed under Stewardship type schemes with other areas dedicated to production. Farmers will need to be able to navigate both of these fields in a changing landscape to deliver the best returns and sustain their businesses. In addition, other schemes may help with diversification and investment into infrastructure etc.

How will membership help you reach this goal?  What is the biggest benefit to you of membership?

The Institute will help me by providing access to training and development to broaden my skills, as well as regular access to networking opportunities which can only broaden my communication skills and improve my profile in the industry. 

I also believe it will be increasingly important to have a recognised affiliation to a professional body in order to validate competency when delivering policy advice.

How regularly do you attend regional/national events?

I am in my first few months of membership so have limited opportunities to attend events so far. I have been on a number of webinars through my association with BIAC and IAgrM and attend as many as possible.  I am really looking forward to attending events in person, meeting other members who I have only ‘seen’ on-line and in discussions on other platforms as often as I can.

It would be nice to have a Northern Group that can meet up regularly and form a closer network nearby for more personal contact.