“You don’t need a farming background to work for the NFU – the enthusiasm and passion for farming rubs off on everyone.”
I am External Affairs Manager at the NFU based in the London office, which is very close to the Houses of Parliament. Our role in the External Affairs team is to coordinate the NFU’s lobbying efforts to make sure our members’ voices are heard in Westminster.
I like that agriculture is an industry that combines my two passions of farming and politics. I also enjoy the fact that our lobbying work could have a direct impact both on farmers’ businesses and on how our countryside looks and the food people eat. It’s much harder to lobby on an issue if you’re not convinced on the arguments yourself but I find that the arguments put forward by the policy team very easy to translate into a very real and relatable arguments for MPs. The other thing I enjoy is how passionately people at the NFU feel about their roles. You don’t need a farming background to work for the NFU – the enthusiasm and passion for farming rubs off on everyone.
The London office is a great place to be because we get so many different people coming into the office. We’d always have someone coming in from a different department, directorate, or region and you could catch up with a wider variety of colleagues on a more regular basis which I really like.
In the London office, we often accompany the officeholder team on various meetings with ministers so it is a real privilege to be able to represent the NFU at the highest levels of government. When we’re on the stand at party conferences or running Back British Farming day for example, we’ll get senior politicians coming along and it’s great to be able to be there as the representative of the NFU.
It’s always great seeing a lobbying plan or event come together. I’ve worked a lot on the Agriculture Bill recently and when you hear a MP or Peer reference some of the work you’ve had a role in sharing with them or briefing them on, that’s quite satisfying.