Meet Clare MacLeod: equine nutritionist

  • Clare MacLeod, who works as a senior nutritionist for Feedmark, talks about her job

    What is your job title?

    Senior nutritionist and product manager at Feedmark, a company which specialises in nutrition and produces feed and feed supplements.

    How long have you been in your present position?

    Nearly four years, I started as a nutritionist with Feedmark in November 1998.

    What does a typical day involve?

    There is rarely a “typical day” – one day may involve mainly research, whereas another might be spent trying to sort out a problem regarding export.

    Generally speaking I’m involved with new and existing product research and development both in the UK and US offices.

    I ensure our product labelling and literature meet legal requirements and liase with our marketing department.

    Answering customer queries about all aspects of feeding and nutrition, as well as writing articles for Feedmark’s in-house publication EQ and other horse magazines.

    I also spend a certain amount of time reading and researching to ensure I keep up-to-date with what is happening within nutrition.

    What are your normal working hours?

    As a rule I work 8.30am to 5pm. But some evenings I work until 6pm and if we have a deadline to meet it can be later. I usually work some weekends at shows and exhibitions as well.

    I am currently studying for my MSc and spend one day a week at the University of Essex, as well as time studying at home in the evenings and weekends,.

    What was your first job?

    After I graduated I worked as a helpline nutritionist with Spillers Horse Feeds

    What qualifications do you have?

  • R Nutr (Registered Nutritionist)
  • BSc (Hons) Equine Science (first class)
  • MSc Human and Equine Sports Science in October 2002 (all being well!).
  • BHS Stage II

    What made you decide to enter nutrition as a career?

    I’ve always been fascinated with nutrition and physiology, and had a passion for horses, so to earn a living involving both was my ambition.

    Do you own a horse?

    Yes, a 29-year-old Arab/Connemara mare (Juniper) who is out on loan back “home” in Scotland.

    Eventually I hope to find another one once I have finished my MSc studies.

    What is the best thing about your job?

    Being able to apply science in the real world and helping people with feeding problems, as well as promoting the concept of nutrition to the public.

    What is the worst thing about your job?

    Lots of office work involving computers!

    What advice would you offer to someone who is looking to enter your profession?

    Determination and a real desire to do the job because it is a competitive market.

    Skills required include an ability to apply science in way in which people can understand.

    An eye for detail, a desire to keep learning, and a commitment to scientific integrity along with an awareness of commercialism.

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