By: Nandinii Suresh Kumar
In its bid to offer a platform to the public, especially young talents to showcase their creative works, TVS features another entry, an article by Nandinii Suresh Kumar from the School of Media and Communication, Taylor’s University.
Malaysian youth agripreneur balances her education and her role as a marketing member under Grüne.my
Jennifer Leong with her batch of freshly grown microgreens (Source: Grüne.my)
21-year-old Jennifer Leong is a young agripreneur under her very own family business known as Grüne.my. Her father, Mr. Michael Leong was the source of inspiration who introduced her to the world of microgreens. Grüne.my was founded by her father and uncle, Mr. David Chui. Before venturing into the business, she started reading up and learning from videos on the planting of microgreens. This helped her to weigh the pros and cons as well.
After doing her research she found interest in this field as it contributes remarkable benefits to the body and skin as microgreens are rich in vitamins and have high nutrients compared to full-grown vegetables. This eventually made her family grow into the microgreen’s lifestyle.
Before venturing into the business, she had her own presumption about agriculture that did not really spark her interest. She initially assumed that agriculture is mainly practiced in rural areas and very labor-intensive until she read up on urban farming. While building her knowledge on urban farming, she was amazed at how convenient it is compared to the conventional methods of planting. She felt that misconceptions occur due to agriculture neither being a discussed topic amongst youth nor reported by the media.
Venturing into agriculture
She decided to join Grüne.my to participate in the marketing department. However, her father persuaded her to get involved in the planting process of microgreens. Although initially, it was not her plan to be in the planting process, over time the process allowed her to broaden her knowledge and understand microgreens’ importance. This built her experience and taught her to be more independent as she could handle customers’ inquiries herself without consistently reaching out to her father for guidance.
Currently, pursuing her degree in marketing, Jennifer uses her newly acquired skills to brainstorm and create quality content on microgreens with her cousin Elisa Chui under the marketing department. After getting her hands dirty, Jennifer can express her proficiency through her social media content.
Microgreens that are chemical-free and ready to eat (Source: Grüne.my)
Moving onto her daily routine, she starts off her day like any other university student, attending classes from 8am to 6pm. Right after, she takes a two-hour breather before she starts preparing her microgreen orders from 8.30pm to 9pm. As the conditions for microgreen harvesting vary from plant to plant, she is required to pop in and harvest microgreens between her classes.
Not forgetting that she also carries a role in the marketing department, she also rolls out content consistently on their social media pages. This teaches her time management, prioritization and multitasking. She plans a monthly meeting with her cousin to come up with future content ideas and to keep things in check.
Being an environmentalist herself, she finds it vital to practice environmentally friendly methods in her day-to-day life. Thus, she supports the use of recyclable bags for grocery shopping and metal straws whenever she heads out. In her view, “any environmentally friendly ideas are a good idea.” After getting into the microgreens business and the fact that there is no tolerance for anti-pesticide in the planting of microgreens, made her fall for the idea harder. This means no chemicals or toxins are released into the soil and it is sustainable. Being in this business not only aligns with her personal practice of being environmentally friendly but also gives her the opportunity to play her part as a responsible citizen towards the environment.
Jennifer hopes that youths are aware of the various opportunities and benefits that can be possessed from the agricultural field. Through her business, she gained confidence in her products as they are chemical-free and can benefit workaholic individuals that opt for a less time-consuming yet healthy meal option. Individuals can store their vegetables in their refrigerator and snack on them without having to cook them.
“Just do it, as venturing into this field does not only help yourself or family members, but it educates the community while running your own business” shared Jennifer on youths planning to venture into the agriculture business.
Youngriculture is a non-profit virtual campaign conducted by 14 students from Taylor’s University (School of Media and Communication), in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture Malaysia (DOA) under the guidance of Ms. G. Manickam Govindaraju, lecturer/project advisor. Youngriculture aims to create awareness in agriculture and myDOA through educational content, encourage youths to venture into the agricultural field, as well as rebranding the industry into a profitable business with limitless demands. The campaign also supports youth agripreneurs and influencers in educating youths on that subject matter. We are happy to share Jennifer’s story as a youth agripreneur and we hope other youths out there get inspired to find their paths in the agricultural field too.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of TVS.
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