NFU agricultural policy graduate scheme: Charlie Parkin's first month

Graduates 2019_69110

NFU graduate trainee Charlie Parkin provides an insight into the first few weeks of her role.

She writes: 

I am based with policy services for my first six months on the agricultural policy graduate scheme. In the coming months I will be working closely with the rural crime, environment, and climate change teams on various projects. Following this I will move across to the food and farming department, focusing on sector specific issues.

My first week with the NFU was full of introductions and new faces. Everyone was welcoming and approachable which has settled the nerves and made me feel privileged to work here. Introductions to each department provided a valuable insight into the scale and expertise at the NFU. There are nationally recognised experts on BPS payments, climate science, TB policy, plant health and EU exit - just to name a few!

Another part of my induction involved a visit to the North East regional office as well as to North East regional management board chairman Rachel Hallos' uplands farm (pictured above) and a dairy farm. One thing that really stood out from the visit to the dairy farm was the scale of investment required for their new rotary parlour. As a new graduate it was great to hear member concerns first-hand and get my wellies dirty!

I have been fortunate enough to attend various events during my first month in the job. These have included UK Dairy Day, Warwickshire Police rural crime officer training and a NFU net zero workshop. Looking forward, I have some exciting dates in the diary including a visit to a fracking plant, a day on patrol with Hertfordshire Police and the women in farming conference.

In addition to my work in policy services I have been working closely with the NFU campaign and communication teams to ensure members are kept in the loop. This has included writing for our British Farmer & Grower magazine, creating website content and speaking to our media team. The NFU’s media presence is astounding - if coverage achieved by the NFU press team in September alone had been advertising, it would have cost in excess of £6 million!

It has been a brilliant first month in my first ‘real job’, providing a great foundation to build upon for the future. I am inspired by the depth of knowledge and expertise within the NFU and feel motivated to deliver for NFU members in the current political climate.