As part of our campaign to Back British Farming we sit down with farmers on our rural community blog, and chat about all things farming. In this blog we spoke with Milly Fyfe (@millyfyfe), who is a farmer based in Northamptonshire. Milly has held numerous positions across multiple agrictulural initiatives, owns her own small business and blog and produces her own podcast all aimed at closing the gap between farm and fork. She’s an incredible ambassador for the rural community, and we were very excited to get an insight into what her life is like…
What’s your farming background like?
I’m not from a farming background although grew up in a small Cotswold hamlet near Witney in Oxfordshire. From a young age I joined the local young farmers club which helped to shape my career in Agriculture. I was Chairman for the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs between 2012-2013. I’ve held various positions within Agriculture including being a Director of the Oxford Farming Conference, East Midlands Regional Manager for the R.A.B.I and CEO of the Dairy and Beef Shorthorn Society.
Since having my children I took a step back from my career and now am building up my own PR and Marketing Business supporting food and farming businesses, whilst enhancing my influencer Ambassador profile to connect people between food produced in the UK and how to make a tasty meal. I do this via my food blog called No Fuss Meals for Busy Parents (www.nofussmealsforbusyparents.com ) and my podcast called The Countryside Kitchen meets. I recently launched an e-cookery book off the back of my blog and podcast which was foreworded by HRH The Princess Royal. You can find out more by visiting: https://www.millyfyfe.com/store/No-Fuss-Meals-for-Busy-Parents-E-Book-p516676969
Do you have children and run a home too? If so, how do you juggle these responsibilities?
Yes I have two young children aged 5 and 4 years old. It is quite a juggle to raise young children, upkeep a farmhouse, support my husband on the farm and run my own business. We manage but it does take up a lot of my time. I speak out quite regularly on mental health awareness as I have struggled over the years as live in chronic pain after having the children (complications after having abdominal surgery)
What’s a typical day in your life like?
Life is very full. The children are my main priority whilst my husband goes out and does the shepherding. Once the children are at school / preschool I start my ‘working’ day. 9am – 3pm. Supporting my farming PR clients. I specialise in social media and digital marketing. When the children come home I take care of meal time and preparing them for the next day with packed lunches / homework etc. Once in bed I normally do 1hr of office work to prepare myself for the next day. Do my exercise to help with pain management, catch up with my husband, maybe watch some TV (generally something related to farming or business like Clarkson’s Farm, This Farming Life, Food Unwrapped, Dragons Den) then bed.
Do you get any time off? If you do, what do you like to do?
Time off is rare but I do enjoy socialising with friends and I make a point of organising at least one family holiday a year. I enjoy gardening and am fortunate to have a walled garden complete with potting shed, greenhouse and polytunnel. I involve the children in all aspects of growing and tending to my kitchen garden which is how my food blog No Fuss Meals for Busy Parents came about
What’s great about being a farmer?
The satisfaction of being able to produce / grow food as well as bringing new life into the world. I enjoy communicating the field to fork message
What do you think are the challenges?
The farming industry needs to improve it’s image to ensure we have a diverse range of people in a wide variety of roles. We also work long hours, especially when tending to livestock each day. Succession planning is a big issue and I have seen the fallout from that over my career and more closer to home.
Have you always felt supported when learning and on the job?
No. Not coming from a farming background, our industry uses terms that others may not necessarily first come to recognise. Due to my drive and determination, married up with my life motto of ‘Dare to be Different’ has kept me focussed and not let knockbacks get in my way.
What would you say to other people thinking of becoming a farmer?
It is a hugely rewarding industry to be a part of. I would suggest looking at getting a mentor to help support a career in Agriculture who can help signpost you to opportunities.
What job opportunities are available for somebody, man or woman, wanting to enter the trade?
The world is your oyster! From marketing, research and development, engineering, education, sales, veterinary, nutrition as well as tending to crops and or livestock. You can find out more about me by following on social media: @millyfyfe or via my linktree: https://linktr.ee/MillyFyfe
If you’re a farmer and you’d like to contribute in our campaign to raise awareness for the incredible work in British agriculture, please drop us a DM on Instagram – @aplanrural