Marie Stephenson, Senior Account Manager

Department: Sales

"I really enjoy working at ForFarmers, the improvements you can make to people’s livelihoods and animals is so rewarding"

Being organised whilst on the road

Visiting farmers to review their dairy setup

“I joined ForFarmers nearly two years ago in May 2018. ForFarmers has Account Managers and sales specialists across the whole of UK but I work within the Preston sales team on the ruminant side of the business."

"My patch covers Lancashire, South Cumbria and North West Yorkshire which is approximately 70 square miles. As a Senior Account Manager, my role consists of working together with farmers to help them to improve herd nutrition, farm efficiency and provide advice on our wide range of products.”

“Before heading out on the road, I normally start my day by checking my emails. I then set off for my first appointment at 9am and this may be with an existing customer or a new prospect. When arriving on farm I tend to walk around the cows and see first-hand how everything is looking. Dairy cows need consistency so it’s important to check the inputs for example is the feed mixed well and of course the outputs, yes that’s the milk and the muck". 

"Whilst walking around the buildings and yards, most farmers like a good natter and will tell you about current challenges or what’s on this week’s agenda. We usually end up having a cup of tea in the farmhouse kitchen and this is a great opportunity to have discussions on the current diet and if they require any seasonal products or services such as silage sampling. I then head off to my next appointment and continue until lunchtime.”

“In the afternoon I update my notes and make some customer calls. Before finishing the day I like to be organised and plan the next day, this might consist of writing a report for a customer, or planning my route.”

Adapting to the changing marketplace

“Every day is different, I meet farmers from across the counties and enjoy building relationships with them. With the current Coronavirus outbreak, the whole country, our business and our customers have had to adapt overnight. ForFarmers has been great at keeping the business running, the mills are still manufacturing our rations and our drivers are out on the road every day of the week in order to deliver the much needed feed to our farmers. My customers have been great and everyone is busy farming and ‘feeding the nation’. Luckily the weather is improving which is lifting spirits as farmers can now get out into the fields.”

“I have 2 children and my son has one of my kidney's so is in the higher risk category and cannot go to school. I am therefore looking after my children and working from home which is a bit of a juggling act. We are all adapting well; I set the children on an activity whilst I complete my daily calls and tasks. I am fortunate that my customers have been so understanding and that I have all of equipment I need in order to work safely from home.”

Utilising knowledge and working together

“I work on my own most of the time. My colleagues are a fantastic support though and are always there when I need them. We all have different experience from the industry and together we draw on each other’s knowledge in order find the best solutions for our customers. I simply couldn’t do my job without them.”

“The whole team at Preston, customer services, transport and sales all pull together and help one another when issues arise. This was really highlighted when one of my customers required some last minute bags, the lorry had already left the mill but turned around so we didn’t let the customer down.”

“I thoroughly enjoy my job and making improvements to farmer’s businesses and animals is so rewarding. I visited one customer and gained the herd 7 litres per cow by making a small and simple change to the products that were being fed through robots. Days like that are just the best and it really cements the key role that we do as Account Managers.”

Marie Stephenson at the Farming Awards

“A lot of the team have been worked at ForFarmers for years and years but I immediately felt really welcomed and part of the team. I would say the level of training is exceptional and they really invest in individuals and help provide the building blocks you need out on farm.”