Welcoming Afrik McAvoy

Afrik McAvoy joined the Lely Atlantic team for a year-long student placement earlier this year. We caught up with her to find out her plans for the year - and beyond.



Growing up on her family farm in County Down Afrik McAvoy always knew that she wanted to pursue a career in agriculture. Working alongside her father she is involved with all aspects of managing their herd of Limousin and pedigree Shorthorn suckler cows and particularly enjoys grass season. “It gives me a real sense of belonging and pride,” she says.

Afrik talks fondly of home and in particular the islands of Strangford Lough which her family have been farming for generations. “On one island we overwinter the heifers and the other is kept in barley which we roll and feed to the cattle. We have to work with the tide to get out there and back in time,” she explains.

After school Afrik decided to study for a degree in business management at Queen’s University, Belfast having enjoyed business studies at school. When the time came to organise a ‘sandwich year’ placement she made contact with a few local agricultural businesses, but none were able to offer her the experience she was looking for.

She decided to look further afield and made contact with Lely Atlantic having known of local farms with Lely robots. After being offered a placement with the Birmingham-based team she had to relocate to the Midlands which was a big step for Afrik, having not lived away from home. But the opportunity was worth it, she says.

“At the moment I am working with the marketing team, but I will also be spending time with the sales department. I’ve been working on events and helping with advertising and some digital projects.” She particularly enjoyed visiting the Ploughing Show in Ireland. “It was great seeing it all come together.”

Her induction to the company was very thorough and Afrik has enjoyed being given responsibility for tasks as her knowledge and experience grow. Sales will be a new area for her, but she is particularly looking forward to learning more about the sales team’s work and building her product knowledge further.

Of all the Lely products Afrik is most impressed by the Vector. “It is so versatile for different farms,” she explains. “I can see the benefits of the Astronaut too, but the Vector is a robot that many farms can benefit from not just dairy. I might try and convince my Dad to buy one!”

When she’s not kept busy by Lely Atlantic Afrik makes frequent trips home to help on the farm. “I went home a lot over the summer as there is always so much to do,” she says. She is also a talented artist and enjoys animal portraiture with chalk pastel pencils when she has time to spare.

Afrik remains sure that she wants to work in agriculture after she graduates. “I’m really enjoying the marketing side, so I think that is probably where I am headed. I believe that automation is where the industry is going so that is where I would like to be.”

Interested in applying for a placement year at Lely Atlantic? Send a copy of your CV and covering letter to: atlcareers@lely.com