People often ask me whether it would be difficult to do my job without a farming background – it gave me the basics, but I’ve learned heaps from other people, experiences and just by doing the job!
I grew up on a dairy and sheep farm in Cumbria and for as long as I can remember, I have loved everything about farming.
From milking to calf rearing, shearing and lambing, I have always been involved in farming practically and I still help out during busy periods – I always knew it was an industry I wanted to work in.
I remember mentioning I wanted to pursue a career in agriculture at school, but short of being a farmer, there weren’t many options brought to the table.
I knew there had to be more to it though.
Thankfully, I got chatting to friends in YFC and when Harper Adams University was mentioned, it took me about five minutes to decide I wanted to apply.
When I started looking into it I was intrigued by the range of courses on offer which all linked to ag in some way.
After arriving, I finally felt as if I was surrounded by like-minded people and while the ethos of ‘work hard, play hard’ certainly applied, I gained a degree along with some valuable life experience during a placement year working in industry.
I took up a role with a meat processing corporation which give me an insight into a totally different area of the supply chain from the practical, on-farm perspective I had grown up around.
The year was spent doing everything from product development to farm visits and improving customer relations. Aged just 20 at the time, it soon became apparent that if I wanted to work in farming, I would need a thick skin at times!
I started thinking about a career path during this time and remember being told to ‘just do what you enjoy’. I enjoyed meeting and talking to new people, so I suppose I fell into journalism in a way.
After university, I spent three years working at the National Sheep Association where I learned the ropes in communications; writing articles, organising, and attending events.
I met loads of others in the industry during this time and finally felt as if my initial thoughts that ‘there had to be more to it’ were verified.
Eager to broaden the sectors I was working in, I knew I had to go for it when an advert for a livestock reporter came up at Farmers Guardian three years ago and I’ve not looked back since.
People often ask whether it would be difficult to do my job without a farming background – it gave me the basics, but I’ve learned heaps from other people, experiences and just by doing the job!
As part of National Careers Week #ThisIsAgriculture showcases agriculture at the cutting edge of modern technology and at the forefront of innovations in key areas, such as IT, forensics, engineering, automation and design.
Visit the series home page for more information