Will Hopkins has just completed a year at Kubota (UK) as a placement student, where he grasped the opportunity to become a precision farming specialist.
“I wanted to learn more about how technology can improve on-farm efficiency, and my time with Kubota was an ideal opportunity to gain a broader understanding of its precision farming systems,” explains Will Hopkins.
Now back at Harper Adams University for his final year, Will is studying for a BSc in product support engineering, where valuable experience gained with the tractor-maker will assist him to complete the course.
Long before leaving school and progressing to higher education, Will Hopkins knew his future would be spent immersed in agriculture. And that’s not just because the 23-year old comes from a family-run farm machinery dealership located near Banbury, Oxfordshire. Farming is also his passion.
“My love of the industry, the people, the equipment and the technology, is what motivates me to stay close to farming,” he says. “No two days are the same – the variety in this industry is immense.”
And although working in the family business gave him valuable experience at dealership level, he really wanted to see what life was like working for a manufacturer.
“Kubota was the one manufacturer that I really wanted to work with,” he says. “As an up-and-coming brand in agriculture, Kubota is a company that I wanted to be involved with,” he says. “After making initial enquiries, I secured a role as a product specialist, and was encouraged to make it my own.”
This freedom unleashed his initiative, and saw him create the opportunity to become Kubota (UK)’s precision farming specialist.
“Working with dealers soon identified a need to help further educate customers on the value of Kubota precision farming systems,” he adds. “And to help that process, I produced a quick-start guide to operating Kubota precision farming systems, which could be supplied with the tractor and kept in the cab.”
This laminated A5 booklet includes topics such as how to create an A-B line with auto-steering systems; how to set-up task control and section control; how to set-up isobus implements; and understanding software licences.
“It was an area where I could add value to the business by helping to support dealers and customers in these areas, so that they too could gain a better understanding of precision farming,” he says. “It would also become a fundamental element within the final part of my University project.”
Will believes farming is now on the cusp of a technological revolution.
“We’re just scratching the tip of the iceberg with precision farming systems and while the technology is impressive, the applications for it are endless,” he says. “And I’ll always be grateful to Kubota for the opportunity to develop and expand my precision farming knowledge.”