Amy Johnstone joined us recently to work as part of the office team for Pedigree Cattle Services at our headquarters in Perth. We recently caught up with Amy, who previously studied Agriculture at SRUC Craibstone Aberdeen, about her first few months on the job and to discuss how she has settled in as part of the team.
What made you apply for the job?
“I’ve always been interested in the pedigree cattle industry ever since I was young. This job was perfect for me as it is something I’m really interested in and it gives me a chance to work with, and learn from, others who are also like minded. I’ve always wanted to learn more about Breedplan and this job allows me to learn new things every day, whilst working alongside a really great team.”
Do you have a background in cattle breeding/farming?
“Yeah, I’ve been brought up in cattle breeding and farming my whole life. Both of my parents have been involved in Aberdeen-Angus herds such as Fairoaks, Cordona and Ballindalloch, so I guess I have been really lucky to have had a very hands-on upbringing. When I was younger I was part of the Aberdeen-Angus Youth Development and frequently attended shows and sales, so I have never been far from the end of the halter. I also worked at Ballindalloch Aberdeen-Angus whilst studying at college, which has resulted in a lot of great memories.”
What kind of things has the job involved so far?
“There has been a wide range of things that this job has involved so far. From carrying out cattle performance recordings to preparing information and catalogues for shows and sales, I really have learnt a lot in my first few months here at Breedplan. I’ve also been involved in the World Angus Forum which has been really interesting. This year has been a special one for Aberdeen-Angus because of the World Angus Forum and attending the various events that took place was a lot of fun.”
What have been your favourite aspects?
“So far I would say that my favourite part of the job is having the opportunity to work with various breeds, having come from an Aberdeen-Angus background it is really interesting to see how breeds differ. I also love that I have been able to meet and develop a great connection with the breeders.”
What do you feel you’ve learned so far?
“In this job you learn something new every day. There is a lot of behind the scenes work that you may not know Breedplan involves. One thing I’ve learned would be the amount of variation there is between each breed, literally every breed is different. It’s been a great experience so far and I have learnt a lot through working with both Barbara and Helena, and I can’t thank them enough. I am excited to continue learning as I look to build on the early stages of my career here.”
What are your interests outside of work?
“I’ve always been an attender of young farmers events, which is something I really enjoy. I have recently joined Bankfoot JAC young farmers, so I am excited to start attending and taking part in events and social activities with the club. I love working with both cattle and sheep. I also love going out and chilling with my friends in my spare time.”
What is your favourite TV programme at the moment?
“I love catching up on the soaps every night. Emmerdale, Coronation Street and EastEnders are my favourites.”
If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you’d buy?
“I’d put the money towards a dream holiday to New Zealand. I’d be able to visit cattle ranches, bull studs and well known herds whilst also being able to take in the amazing scenery! After speaking to visitors from New Zealand at the World Forum about it, it really would be a dream come true.
I would also purchase a Dachshund puppy (sausage dog), I’ve always wanted one.”
We would love to thank Amy for taking the time to talk to us. Amy has made a really great start to life here and we look forward to continuing to work with her moving forwards!