I am extremely passionate about agriculture and always knew I wanted to work in agriculture in some way, writes agricultural journalist and PR assistant Ruth Wills.
I loved writing but never really considered it could be a career or even that I was any good at it until I received an award from the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers for an assignment I had written in my degree.
So, it’s easy to see why being an agricultural journalist is my dream job! It still makes me smile when I see my name in print.
As well as journalism I work in PR with rural businesses – this is interesting because it is a totally different writing style to news or farm life.
Another passion of mine is women in farming.
Agriculture wasn’t exactly encouraged as a career path at my school – despite it being a rural area, I felt like the only girl in the world that wanted a career in farming and was encouraged in to follow other directions like veterinary nursing – but that wasn’t right for me.
After my A Levels, I applied for a foundation degree in agriculture at my local college – Duchy College.
And to my surprise and delight, there were more girls than boys on my course! It was fantastic to be with such like-minded ladies that had the same passion for agriculture as me.
I’ve always been a huge advocate of Young Farmers – having joined as soon as I could at ten years old!
Without a shadow of a doubt I would not be where I am today without Young Farmers – I’ve had so many incredible experiences and met lifelong friends – I would encourage anyone to join whether you’re a farmer or not – you don’t have to be a farmer to be a Young Farmer!
For anyone looking to get into the world of agricultural journalism a great place to start is the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists (BGAJ) who run a training course specifically for people who want to gain skills and experiences in the industry.
I attended the course last year and was lucky enough to be chosen as Runner Up for the training award.
I learnt so many invaluable skills and how to improve my writing through the course and I know the others did too.
A part of the course is a week of work experience with an agricultural title such as Farmers Guardian, which is a brilliant way of getting your foot in the door.
I now work as a freelance agricultural journalist and PR assistant at Agri-hub in Devon, a small team of four women we work with all sorts of different clients ranging from accountants to feed companies and various agricultural titles.
Every day is different and that’s one of the things I love about my job, that and the fact we work in the countryside and every lunchtime consists of a dog walk!