Meet your AMTRA SQP… Sammy Stenton – AMTRA R-SQP Student of the Year (all-species)
Sammy Stenton followed quite a different career path before joining Carrs Billington in 2017, becoming an AMTRA SQP by December 2018. Sammy was named as the top R-SQP student of the year (all-species), during the AMTRA awards at the AHDA Conference 2019.
Q. What inspired you to qualify as an AMTRA SQP and follow a career as an animal medicines advisor?
My father is a sheep-farmer in Thornton-le-Dale in North Yorkshire, so I have always had a background, interest and involvement in the farming sector. However, I did follow a different career path, working within the oil and gas industry as a buyer for a local company, before joining Carrs Billington in October 2017.
I was given the opportunity to undertake the AMTRA SQP training very early on, something in fact I wasn’t really familiar with before then! Carrs Billington organised in-house training. The training was excellent, with our 14-strong group all qualifying.
Q. What does your average work-day involve?
One of my key roles is looking after animal ID tags for sheep and cattle for the Malton Country Store in North Yorkshire, as well as other nearby stores. Most of my work is office based, dealing with farmers over the ‘phone, advising and prescribing best treatments, and placing orders. I do get out when I can, and certainly to the local shows!
Q. What do you feel is the most important aspect of your role as an AMTRA SQP?
Without a doubt, the most important aspect is working with farmers to maintain the high-health status of their flocks and herds. In this part of the country we have a fairly good mix of beef, dairy and sheep farmers. It is important to understand their requirements.
Q. What are the skills and qualities you must bring to the role?
Most of our farmer customers are long-standing clients, and it is important and rewarding to develop relationships with all of our customers. It is important that we are aware of any changes, and are always providing relevant and up-to-date advice. By having a good relationship, we can make sure we get the information from the farmer we need, to ensure best treatments are advised and prescribed. I am very fortunate, as many of my customers I know personally, from my family farming background.
Q. How do you feel your status as a qualified AMTRA SQP will help develop your career?
It really is all still happening for me, and I have been working with my manager to further develop my role. Carrs Billington are fantastic at acknowledging your success in achieving this qualification, and working with you to make best use of it.
Q. Do you have any other comments about your AMTRA training and CPD?
From going to practically knowing nothing about SQPs, to seeing how much is covered within the training, how detailed and broad the coverage of animal health is – it is absolutely fantastic. I really look forward to continuing to develop my knowledge through the on-going CPD training.
Sammy Stenton is part of the Carrs Billington team in Malton, North Yorkshire.