A PEWSEY farming manager is being tipped for the top in agriculture.

And he is now a poster boy for ex-military personnel finding alternative employment.

Jonathan Kerr made the switch from the army to farming when he took redundancy from his unit, The Blackwatch, in 2013.

"I went straight to Cirencester College and did a one year post grad GDA course, in agriculture," said Jonathan.

"I had just left the army, and two weeks later I was out of uniform, and back in jeans and a T shirt at college.

"I was a 'mature' student, but I thought it was the best way to get into farming.

"I learned about leadership and management in the army, and farming uses all those skills."

Jonathan went to Sandhurst in 2005 and left the army as a senior Captain.

He says a lot of army personnel struggle with new careers when leaving the forces.

"Farming has been great for me," he said.

"I can genuinely say the skills I have learned in the army are entirely transferable to working in agriculture. I have to manage people, logistics, it's outdoors, it has all the variety of the job I had in the army.,"

He currently works as a Farm Manager at Green Drove Farm in Pewsey and is employed by Velcourt.

"Velcourt definately took a leap of faith with me," he said. "Most people they take on from college are 21. I was 33!"

He now farms arable crops.

"We produce wheat, barley, peas, maize. We are also looking into growing a crop of poppies for the first time."

His move into agriculture also marks a return to his family roots.

"My Dad was from a five generation farming family in Great Bedwyn," he said.

"They used to farm Manor Farm. And then later moved to Forest Hill Farm near Savernake. Dad didn't follow suit though, and so I can't say I am from a farming family as such, but it is definitely in the genes."

Jonathon, 39, remembers enjoying tractors and combines as a child, and his children, 5 and 2 seem to have got the bug too.

He was also recently named as an Emerging Leader by the Oxford Farming Conference.

The Rural List was established with the support of The List, a specialist executive search firm for ex-forces personnel.

It meets monthly, hearing from guest speakers.

Employers, veterans and service personnel interested in pursuing a career in the land-based sector attend.