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Fiona Smith

8 June 2015
Fiona Smith, 24, exports administrator, Kinross, Scotland
 
From health psychology to potato breeding…
 
After graduating in Health Psychology, Fiona’s aim was to get a job to earn some money before deciding fully which career path she wanted to take.
 
“A job came up in the Potato section in SASA (Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture) and I started off working in the Variety Testing and Genetic Resources team which included carrying out National List Trials for all new potato varieties.”
 
Fiona was attracted to the variation of working outdoors, in an office environment and also in a laboratory.  
 
“I was developing lots of new skills, enjoying the variety and variation of the work and it was then that I knew a career in the potato industry was for me,” explains Fiona.  
 
Fiona now works for two companies, Cygnet PB, one of the biggest potato breeders and seed marketers in the UK and Cygnet PEP which exports seed to over 30 countries.  
 
“My role involves dealing with the documentation needed for sending seed all over the world during the export season and breeding new salad, prepack, crisping and chipping varieties during the summer.” 
 
“I hope to one day sell a variety that I bred myself,” adds Fiona. “The team are attending BP2013, the event is a great way of networking and also doing business. It the main chance to catch up on the latest potato research, developments, and to see new machinery.”
 
(Details correct as of November 2013)