From her upbringing growing up on the
family sheep and beef farm in the hills of Radnorshire in mid-Wales, Crystal
has always had a well-honed passion and interest in animal health, inspiring
her to further her learning and develop a rewarding career in the sector.
“I completed a degree in Agriculture
at Aberystwyth University to help me pursue my interests and career goals, and
this also included a six-month placement milking in New Zealand,” she says.
It was a case of continuous
development and some five years on from completing her degree, Crystal first
qualified as a RAMA, enabling her to put her skills, training and knowledge to
“I began working for Wynnstay in 2018,
initially as store assistant in Llanidloes for two years. This experience
helped me to gain valuable knowledge and insight into the level of service and
products Wynnstay provides through its network of stores and sales teams,” says
It was in somewhat sad circumstances
that the next stage of Crystal’s development took place, following the sad
passing of the highly respected animal health sales specialist for mid-Wales,
“Jimmy was such a hard-working and
brilliant man, who went above and beyond for his farm customers for many years.
I was extremely honoured to be asked in early 2021 to fulfil this role, and
every day, I endeavour to take the same approach as he did in supporting our
farm clients,” she adds.
In the new role, Crystal works from
her van, giving her the opportunity for face-to-face contact with her clients
covering the surrounding areas from Newtown, Llanidloes, Rhayader and Builth
Wells, hand delivering orders direct to farm.
“I’m also in the busy Builth Livestock
Market every Friday. Customers come to collect orders, discuss products and
prices, do a little paperwork together or just simply have a well-earned break and
catch up while the kettle boils,” says Crystal.
“I firmly believe this is the best way
to get to know your customers on a more personal level. You can talk to them
and listen to what is happening on their farm, comparing that information with
the person next to them, all the while picking up little snippets of advice
that may benefit someone else along the way – we are all learning!” she adds.
Currently, much of her work is focused
on late-season lamb doses, cattle and sheep bolusing, dipping and preparing for
autumn sales and tupping. In doing so, as is the case throughout the year, Crystal
believes the most important aspect is to provide the best possible advice for
the needs of the customers, while encouraging the responsible use of medicines.
“It’s important to try and steer away
from the mind-set of ‘this is the way we’ve always done it’,” she says.
“The majority of farms and practices
have changed quite dramatically in the last few years and so has anthelmintic
resistance. We need to take advantage of the valuable research and advice out
there, and attending regular AMTRA CPD courses helps me to give up-to-date,
According to Crystal, it is also key
to take a genuine interest in what the customer is looking to achieve, and this
means taking the time to listen and work together.
“Nobody knows the farm better than the
customer. It is important to take onboard their knowledge and combine it with
yours to find a solution that fits their system. It’s never a one size fits
all!” she says.
“I am lucky that on a lot of
occasions, I can see their livestock first hand on-farm, enabling me to build a
clearer picture of what’s going on. Often I find this approach means the farmer
is much more comfortable discussing the farms needs in their own surroundings,”
Crystal can be reached on 07384 817362 or [email protected].