Hampshire man aims to build on family farming heritage.

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Ryan Stevenson is following in his father’s footsteps as he completes an online diploma in Farm Management, enhancing the existing skill set he has developed during his career as a professional cricketer.

Speaking to the PCA during its 2019 Futures Week, the 27-year-old described how his childhood on the family farm in Devon inspired him to find out more about life in the agricultural sector.

“My grandparents bought a farm which my parents run now, so it’s just something I’ve always been interested in, really,” Stevenson said.

“When we were younger, my brother and I didn’t actually do that much on the farm – we were off playing sports most of the time. But since I’ve got a bit older and I’ve gone back to the farm more often, the more interested in it I’ve become.”

Stevenson is completing the diploma with ACS Distance Education, a resource established in 1979 that now boasts over 600 online courses. 

“There’s six different sections and you can choose what you want to do. One section, for instance, is Farm Management and then the other five are different animals – cows, pigs, sheep, whatever. That’s the type of farming that I’m most interested in.

“At the end of it you get a diploma but, for me, I’m doing it to learn more and hopefully I’ll get some good experience to go alongside it.

“I grew up on a farm, but I didn’t know a lot about it. So I just wanted to find out a bit more.”

Stevenson has been studying the online course for the past two years, but admits he hasn’t been able to dedicate as much time to it as he would’ve liked, albeit with good reason.

“Myself and my partner have just had a child, on top of getting married and buying a house within the last year! So it’s been a bit of a hectic time.

“Hopefully when I get a bit more time I’ll be able to complete the course and get some work experience on top of that as well.”

Having struggled with a number of back problems over the past five years, Stevenson knows better than most the threat that injury can pose. As a result, he admits that he’s had to be proactive when it comes to considering his second career options.

“It’s really important to look after yourself, not only for after your playing career but during it, too.

“It can give you that security, knowing that if cricket doesn’t go to plan, then you’ve got something to fall back on.

“I’ve had more than my fair share of injuries so I know it can be quite stressful. Hopefully pursuing farming can help to relieve some of that stress.”

If you’re a PCA member and are looking to build a second career, find out more about our Personal Development and Welfare Programme or contact your designated Personal Development Manager (PDM).

Keep up-to-date with the week’s activities by following the #PCAFuturesWeek hashtag on all of the PCA’s social media accounts.

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