AMTRA recognised the latest generation of talent in the sector at its annual awards ceremony which was held during this week’s AHDA conference in Birmingham.
The winner of the top all species SQP category and winner of the AHDA Cup was Melanie Griffin from Warwickshire, who is a product manager at Mole Valley Farmers.
She has been in this role for two and a half years and is responsible for the procurement and supplier relationship management of a portfolio of agricultural products for the Mole Valley Farmers and Mole Country Stores retail outlets across the UK.
Prior to this, she was a pig nutritionist after graduating from Harper Adams University with a First-Class Honours Degree in Bioveterinary Science in 2018.
Melanie said: “I qualified as an R-SQP in January 2023. I have always enjoyed learning about the fundamental science of how animals work, and I was interested to gain a more in-depth understanding of animal medicines and the conditions they are used to treat.
“Undertaking the AMTRA SQP training has helped me to understand the needs of our farming customers and in turn, ensure that we have the products and/or services available through our network of stores to support them. In my role I have also been able to build stronger relationships with our suppliers by having a wider knowledge of the products they are offering.”
The winner of the Equine SQP category was Sarah Cheadle, from Surrey, who is a student veterinary nurse.
Sarah said: “I undertook my RAMA training through self-study from the material provided by AMTRA for equine and companion animals as these are the areas of greatest interest for myself.
“I started training as a SQP when working in retail and this in part influenced me to change onto the veterinary nurse career path that I’m now on as I developed my interest in preventative healthcare. I found the training empowering, giving me a vast amount of knowledge and skills, which have transferred into my current role. I’d encourage anyone considering becoming a SQP to go for it. The qualification has opened so many doors.”
The winner of the Companion Animal category was Emily Maunder from Lancashire, who began her career with Pets at Home just over two years ago.
Emily said: “With my scientific background I knew I wanted to pursue the SQP route as soon as possible and this went hand-in-hand with becoming a keyholder within my store.
“My role currently entails advising on the treatment and prevention of parasites within companion animals, particularly cats and dogs. Being an SQP has given me the opportunity to focus my general scientific knowledge onto practical solutions for owners and their pets. The knowledge gained allows me not only to supply the best medicines but also build trust with customers as I can talk with ease about their animals and advise where necessary.”
The winner of the Vet Nurse category is Hannah Simmons from Middlesbrough. Hannah is a registered Vet Nurse with her own dog grooming salon.
She said: “The SQP course was very educational and was a good refresher as a vet nurse.”
- All species category – Juliette Eatwell
- Equine – Bethany Donnelly
- Companion Animal – Hannah Lane-Such
- Vet Nurse – Klaudia Wojcik
Stephen Dawson, AMTRA chief executive, said: “I not only offer huge congratulations to all of the 2024 winners and runners up, but also to every single person who has ever committed to the training that comes with being an AMTRA RAMA to drive excellence in the animal health industry.”