Blog •  09/04/2024

Meet the Area Manager: An Interview with Colin Bowers

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Tell us a little bit about the part of the country you work in?

I am the area manager for Scotland and I live in Fife. Scotland of course is a massive region, but Fife itself has a little bit of everything that can be found in Scotland as a whole – upland grazing, lowland silage, winter and spring cereals, oilseed rape, potatoes, forage crops, crops for aerobic digestion (AD), vegetable crops and stacks of fruit. It goes without saying that Scotland has a cooler climate and higher levels of rainfall, but it benefits from long summer days which often contribute to some very high crop yields.

Do you have a connection to agriculture outside of Corteva?

I’m from a family of small-holders and as a boy was surrounded by sheep, cattle, pigs, hens and horses. Right now, one of my interests includes rare breed poultry, and keeping a small number of Scots Grey chickens and Shetlands ducks, as well as home-brew cider!

Can you describe your journey to becoming an Area Manager at Corteva?

It was not the plan to have a career in agriculture. It was supposed to be pharmacology. But one bright day in a chemistry lab I realised this was not for me, and instead took a degree in Parasitology. Very interesting for sure, but it had few career options outside of being a doctor or vet. While pondering my future I came across an advert for an agronomist to look after bananas in the Caribbean. Who would not want to do that?! Unfortunately, I was neither an agronomist nor BASIS qualified (a requirement for the role). What was this BASIS thing? I’d not heard of this. As chance had it, in the same publication there was a master’s course in crop protection that would count towards the BASIS qualification. I had bananas on my mind, so I signed up straight away. After graduating I joined an agronomy distribution company and spent a few years as an agronomist in the West Midlands. No bananas in Shropshire but very good experience all the same. During that time, I realised that I wanted to become more involved in the development and introduction of new products. This meant a move to the manufacturing side of the industry, and I joined Dow Elanco (a heritage company of Corteva’s) in 1997 as area manager for the West Midlands and Wales.

What has been the most thrilling project you’ve implemented at Corteva?

I have had the opportunity to have held several roles in different places within Corteva, each with its own “buzz”. One role that I will always remember for the “buzz” was being the global business manager for the development of insecticides outside of crop situations, based in the US. It wasn’t just the complexity and magnitude of the role but the sheer variety of people that I worked with, from many different geographies, cultures, roles, and backgrounds.

How do you keep up-to-date with the latest advancements and trends in agriculture?

The easiest way is to read, but perhaps the best way is to speak with people. There are many different publications and websites discussing developments in agriculture, but people have a way of filtering out the “noise” and picking out the main features from their perspective, whether good or bad.

What advice would you give to someone aspiring to become an Area Manager in the agricultural industry?

Being an area manager is as much about being able to engage and work with people, as it is technical knowledge. Be prepared to never stop learning – don’t be afraid ask those questions and listen. Be prepared to travel (especially if based in Scotland!). 

Why would you recommend Corteva as a great place to work?

Corteva is a global company but feels like a family firm. People who join tend to stay – and that brings a degree of intimacy. The company has always been supportive of professional development at a pace that suited the individual. If someone was happy doing what they were doing – that was just fine, if someone wanted to take on other roles – those opportunities would come.

Colin Bowers
Colin Bowers

If you are looking for a role with a difference, Corteva is the right choice, providing valuable learning experiences. Find out more about our talented team here.

Colin Bowers

Scotland & Northumberland

Tel: 07527 335376

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