2014 has been an incredible year for me and so I thought I would take the time to reflect on the year and give my top 10 highlights before the clock strikes midnight and we see in 2015.
1. Travelling to Australia with the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth thanks to sponsorship from the Royal Smithfield Club. This was the first time I have travelled long haul, as well as to Australia and had the opportunity to visit farms around Queensland before heading to a week-long conference discussing topics such as promoting and marketing Agriculture
2. Breeding a litter of Pedigree Labrador puppies. My bitch Maggie was a first-time mum and did a fantastic job in rearing 8 beautiful puppies. We were blessed with 4 dogs and 4 bitches and all went to lovely homes.
3. I was thrilled to be nominated and won an Inspirational Women award. It was a complete shock and surprise for me. The award signifies all the hard work and commitment I have given to my advocacy and charity work within Agriculture.
4. Purchasing my wedding dress. I will not be putting the picture in this blog post!
5. I turned 30 and my wonderful fiancé Andrew took my on a surprise trip to Paris to celebrate.
6. Being elected an Associate Director of the Oxford Farming Conference. Having taken part in the conference several times as a scholar and winning the Oxford union debate, I applied to help support the scholarship programme and ensure that the under 35’s get as much out of the conference as I have had.
7. Receiving a grant from the Henry Plumb Foundation to explore adding value to rare breed pig meat. I was fortunate to attend a butchery course at the school of Artisan food, then I reared some pigs from weaners, took to slaughter, processed the meat into sausages and then cooked. I really benefitted from having a mentor to guide and support me through the process.
8. I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to present and speak at various farming conferences, YFC AGM’s and events. I love to share my passion for Agriculture with others and hopefully inspire people to get involved or support certain initiatives.
9. Working for the R.A.B.I is very rewarding and I have really enjoyed working with my county committee’s, corporate supporters and groups such as YFC and WI to help raise over £100,000 across the East Midlands region. Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive in helping to achieve such amazing things.
10. My media profile has really grown this year and I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts, raising awareness and challenging perspectives on contentious issues throughout the TV, radio, online, social and print media. At the beginning of the year I was thrown in the deep end with a live ‘on the sofa’ piece on BBC Breakfast
So, as you can see it’s been an action-packed year. As I look forward to 2015 I hope to spend more time with family and friends and try and strike a better work/ life balance.
I want to continue my advocacy work championing British Agriculture and Rural Road safety. I enjoy communicating to the media and writing about the farming industry with my personal experiences which I hope to build on.
Above all I cant wait to get married to my best friend, my amazing fiancé Andrew who has been there for me, through thick and thin. I just need to get use to signing my name Mrs Milly Fyfe!
Happy New Year!