“The NFU has become a big part of my life and that’s down to the people in the organisation.”
I’ve been working for the NFU since 2007 when I joined the graduate scheme. Although I’m not from a farming background, I was interested in agricultural policy and the graduate scheme was a real chance to get a foot in the door. I’m now Regional Director covering Yorkshire, County Durham and Northumberland, and on my way up to this position I’ve worked at HQ in Stoneleigh, in the South West, North West, North East and Brussels.
My role is to provide the strategic representation for the 6,000 farmer and grower members in our patch working with a team of county advisers, communications advisers and environment and land use advisers to make sure we represent the farmers of the North East as best we can.
The NFU has become a big part of my life, and that’s down to the people in the organisation. It’s great working with farmers and you get a real sense of satisfaction when you’ve done a good job on their behalf and are genuinely making a difference. It’s equally great working with dedicated colleagues and whether they come from a farming background or not, everyone is really passionate about what they do and that makes it a great place to work.
One of the best parts of the role, and often the most challenging, is that work we do is directly relevant to the big issues of the day. Whether that’s climate change, the environment, politics, Brexit, food – it means our work is really relevant and the fact that we can influence some of those things is really exciting.
There’s also a great culture where you’re given the opportunity to have an idea and run with it. Both regionally and nationally we’re always looking for new ways to engage with members and reach out to the public, so there’s plenty of freedom to be creative.
I really believe that the NFU is an organisation where you get out what you put in.