Sammy Mitchell, farm sales co-ordinator at our Mole Valley Farmers branch in Holsworthy, Devon, gives us a snapshot of a typical day, and her advice on fly control as we head further into the summer months.
Sammy’s Mole Valley journey started off working on the tills as part of the weekend staff team at Holsworthy, before moving to a full-time role within the clothing and footwear department. Having gained further experience in the administration office, Sammy then moved onto her current role as farm sales co-ordinator.
“My inspiration has always been my passion for the farming industry, and the thought of being able to help customers with the health of their animals,” says Sammy, “This is why I was so keen to qualify as a RAMA.”
In her current role, Sammy’s day-to-day activities vary, but generally include fielding telephone enquiries into the branch, advising and serving from the animal medicines counter, as well as managing orders and deliveries direct to farm, such as bulk feeds and dairy chemicals.
“I think the most important aspect of the role, is ensuring I am giving the customer the best advice, and this relies on understanding their individual needs,” she says.
“This involves advising on the best product for the needs of the animal, sometimes advising the customer against buying a less effective option, simply because it is cheaper, or it is a product they have previously used,” adds Sammy.
Sammy’s communication skills are therefore critical, and this goes beyond the actual physical transaction and purchasing process.
“I must ensure I have communicated how to administer the product correctly, to look out for any contraindications, and to consider how to store the product,” she says.
“This again relies on gaining the trust of the customer. We have a responsibility to their animals, these animals mean a lot to the customer, so I must ensure I am giving the correct advice,” she adds.
Sammy feels the recent rename of her qualified title from SQP (Suitably Qualified Person) to RAMA gives more clarity to her role, and reinforces that level of trust with her clients.
So, what advice should we be taking as head further into the summer months?
“Flies are always a challenge at this time of year,” explains Sammy. “The first fly control doses should have been given in May, but is an ongoing challenge. Flies can cause dairy cows a lot of stress, affecting what they eat and how much milk they produce, for example.
“A high fly challenge can also cause summer mastitis in dairy cows. Fly control should also be considered for sheep, to prevent fly strike in the future.”
Sammy says June is also a good time of year to be discussing worming and vaccination plans, so make sure you speak to your RAMA for the latest qualified advice and guidance.