A Ukrainian Agronomist’s Journey to Scotland

A Ukrainian Agronomist’s Journey to Scotland

Jan Hewitt
11th May 2023

A Ukrainian Agronomist’s Journey to Scotland


Sergiy Ilchenko, a Ukrainian agronomist, left Ukraine in February 2022 with his pregnant wife and two children, Peter (5) and Sofia (1). The family drove from Odesa to Scotland when the fighting in the region intensified early last year. They are currently living with a host family in Perthshire who have been helping them settle in and assisting Sergiy in his job search.


A Life of Service


In Ukraine, Sergiy trained as an agronomist and has a master’s degree in Agronomy, Agribusiness and Administrative Management. He has completed postgraduate studies in Crop Production and worked in the Ukrainian civil service as head of the regional administration for Bilgorod-Dniestrov where he led an organization of 2,000 people.


A New Beginning


Before the Russian invasion, Sergiy was managing his family business, a small farm near Odesa, which mainly cultivated and sold grapes and grain crops. Due to the increasing danger to his family’s life, he was forced to leave his home and business and they made the long journey to Scotland to find safety.

Despite this upheaval and trauma of leaving loved ones, his thriving business, and his home Sergiy is determined to make the most of his situation. He knows his skills and knowledge of agriculture would make him an asset to a Scottish business and this led him to approach Scottish Agronomy for an opportunity to build his network and employment prospects.


In at the Deep End


Scottish Agronomy operates the largest field trials system in the north of the UK and with the lively spring and summer seasons getting underway it’s a busy time for the trials team. The team are delighted that Sergiy has stepped into the role of trials officer for the next few months and hopes to learn more about agricultural practice in Scotland and also improve his English. He has already been involved with early spring work around the country and is enjoying getting his boots muddy again. He says the team has been welcoming and likes their passion and dedication.


A Bright Future


Despite the challenges he has faced, Sergiy is pleased to be back working in agriculture and hopes to find a more permanent position after his role with Scottish Agronomy. With his impressive qualifications and experience, there is no doubt that Sergiy will make a valuable contribution to any agricultural enterprise lucky enough to have him on board.


A Valuable Insight


The Story of Sergiy Ilchenko is a reminder of the challenges faced by refugees around the world and the importance of providing support to those in need. It also highlights the resilience and determination of individuals like Sergiy to build a better future for themselves and their families.

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