An Insight Into our Long Serving Staff
Here at RAGT Seeds UK, each and every member of our team is incredibly valued with some employees having worked for us for nearly 40 years!
We catch up with Mark Clements, a member of our long serving staff to get an insight into his time at RAGT and to learn more about him and his role.
Having worked for us for over 38 years and originally starting in the Civil Service with the Plant Breeding Institute, we talk to Mark Clements, our Wheat Pedigree Coordinator about his time with Europe's Number One Cereal Breeder.
1. How long have you worked for RAGT?
38 years. 6 months. Started in the Civil Service with the Plant Breeding Institute, through privatisation and subsequent selling of the business to Unilever (PBI Cambridge Limited) & Monsanto and onto the present day with RAGT.
2. What is your current role at RAGT and how has it evolved since you started?
My current Role is UK Wheat Pedigree Coordinator. I started as an Assistant Scientific Officer in the Sugarbeet Dept at PBI for 2 years in 1982 moving onto Winter Wheat in 1984 and have been here ever since. I was promoted to my current role in 2000.
3. What has been your proudest moment since working for RAGT?
Left school with 5 GCE ‘O’ levels ,1 A & 4 C’s, the A was in Biology, looked in the paper to see what I could do with that. PBI were advertising for a lab worker in their potato department went for it didn’t get that one. Went for a job in Field Beans but 3rdtime lucky got into Sugarbeet. Moved to wheat and have enjoyed it ever since. Pretty proud for naming Hereward after one of my secondary school houses. Variety lasted on the NIAB recommended list for 20 years.
4. What do you love the most about working for RAGT?
The variety of jobs covered in my role. Field, glasshouse, laboratory, office, machinery are all covered at different times during the year.
5. If you could describe RAGT in three words what would it be?
Innovative, Progressive, Focused.
6. What has been your career highlight at RAGT?
Being involved with the Wheat Breeding Programme for so long. Most of RAGT’s UK varieties have started their journeys through my crossing technique and now I’m helping the next generation to get the most out of their time with RAGT by passing on my knowledge and experience on to them so hopefully they can make a difference too.
7. Tell us a random fact about you!
I hold a number of volunteer roles away from RAGT. I am currently President of Soham Young Farmers of which I was a member back in the day. Also a Nights Away Advisor Manager and District Cub Scout Leader in the Newmarket District of Cambridgeshire for The Scout Association.