Meet See Jen Chuan

Senior Farm Manager
Kin Yan Agrotech

Formerly a store owner selling food and herbal drinks, See Jen Chuan discovered the joys of farming at a later stage in his life. In 2014, he developed a fascination with the intricacies of nature and made the jump from F&B to farming.

His dedication, passion and love for nature has catapulted him into a leadership role at Kin Yan — Singapore’s largest wheatgrass and mushroom farm — where he now nurtures both crops and the talents of his team as a Senior Farm Manager.

Labour of love

Jen Chuan shares his farming journey at Kin Yan, and the traits necessary to succeed in the agriculture industry.

What personality or skill sets does a farmer need to be successful? Image

What personality or skill sets does a farmer need to be successful?

A farmer needs three traits — diligence, attentiveness and adaptability. You need to be able to keep up with the new technology and methods in the industry to constantly improve your skill sets and succeed.

Most importantly, you need to have a love for nature. As a farmer, you’re hoping to preserve a tradition for the next generation, in the hope that you can pass on that love.

Did you face any challenges when first making the switch from the F&B industry to farming? Image

Did you face any challenges when first making the switch from the F&B industry to farming?

It’s all about time. When you’re working in a factory, production timelines are a lot more concrete and schedules can be controlled better.

When you’re working with crops, timings can fluctuate — you can’t dictate when exactly a plant is ready to harvest. You have to be constantly attentive, and you can’t leave matters hanging for a later date.

What makes you proud about being a farmer at Kin Yan? Image

What makes you proud about being a farmer at Kin Yan?

Seeing the team come together to nurture our crops — Farming is all about teamwork, and we put a lot of effort into growing our crops. Our produce is 100% organic, which means we don’t use pesticides and all our compost is made from biological waste from the farm.

What’s the most rewarding element of farming? Image

What’s the most rewarding element of farming?

Being able to convey my knowledge and love for nature to my teammates, and to the children who visit our farm on tours.

Sometimes these children come back six months or a year later to share how they’ve developed their skills and a deeper love for nature, which is very heart-warming.

A day in the life

“A lot of my work is about management and supervision,” Jen Chuan shares. “We grow quite a variety of crops such as pea sprouts, mushrooms, black fungus and aloe vera, so there’s a lot of different aspects of the crops to take into account."

As a leader of Kin Yan’s farming community, Jen Chuan juggles both managerial and day-to-day facets of the farm’s operations. Besides ensuring that the farm’s crops are pest-free and growing healthily, he also takes an active hand in leading and mentoring the members of his team.

Food for thought

Jen Chuan shares his philosophy towards farming, leadership and nurturing the next generation of agricultural experts.

Waste not, want not

As an agricultural professional, Jen Chuan devotes a huge amount of time and effort to nurturing the farm’s bounty. Some crops at Kin Yan — like mushrooms and sweet potatoes — can take up to a month to grow. “Please don’t just eat two mouthfuls and throw the rest of the food away,” he says with a rueful laugh. “It’s quite heartbreaking for farmers to see.”

Learning to love nature

In Jen Chuan’s opinion, learning about the nuances of farming can help an individual develop a deeper love for nature. Besides growing a diverse range of produce, Kin Yan also offers educational tours and sells a wheatgrass growing kit for those interested in cultivating a green thumb.

The future of traditional farms

With government support for local agriculture, Jen Chuan sees a bright future ahead for local farming. “As a traditional farmer, I think it’s crucial that we cultivate young talents,” he shares. “Farming has a lot of potential as an industry, and young people need to be able to see that.”

Kin Yan’s range of wholesome produce can be found at supermarkets across the island, including NTUC FairPrice, Sheng Siong, Prime Supermarket and Giant.

Kin Yan Agrotech

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