Rural life has also been a way of life for me. I was brought up on the family hill farm and went on to work for the organic meat plant business when leaving my local high school at the age of 16. I also attended SAC Auchincruive and studied Green Technology - before furthering my career in the agricultural sector. I now work for Soil Association Scotland where I deliver a Knowledge Exchange Programme looking at how farmers can utilise nature to benefit their business.
Out with work environment, agriculture and the rural community still play a key role for me, with my commitment to the SAYFC stretching over a decade, first joining the organisation when I was 14. I’ve participated in roles, responsibilities and events from local to national level and in 2013 was part of the relaunched Rural Agri Affairs committee and took on the committee Chair role from 2015-17.
Now married and living with my husband, a farmer from Angus and naughty puppy Belle, I am still very much continuing to grow my rural roots. My passion for the rural way of life falls back to the "close-knit" community and the traditional roots that are paved with the lifestyle.
However, it can be very hard to be part of this way of life, due to unaffordable homes and although rural communities are close-knit, sometimes this can be a challenge rather than a positive if you have no link or connection before entering that community. Limited jobs in rural areas also create large barriers for young people, with many having to choose urban areas to live due to no opportunities for both living and working in rural areas. I would like to see this change in the future so young people have the opportunity to work and live in rural areas, at an affordable price.