The RHS WiAS Breakfast, kindly supported by the Scottish Government, on Thursday 22 June will feature a panel of exciting speakers all of whom have overcome adversity in agriculture. The panel will be moderated by Matthew Naylor. Read their full biographies below:
My own personal experience as a totally blind person has given me the drive and passion to conceive this project and strive to see it to fruition. I lost my sight completely when I was only 6 years old, however against all odds; I knew that I wanted a life and career in farming. Whilst I was realistic in knowing that I would have some limitations I was determined to find out how I could attain my goal.
Having been accepted into Warwickshire College of Agriculture, as the first ever blind person, I found my niche with my love of pigs. As most pigs are farmed on an intensive basis in units I found I could navigate and work alone with no restrictions. I then proceeded to gain all the certificates that I could, including my pig craftsmanship and AI (Artificial Insemination) Certificate and my Degree in animal nutrition. Once I left college I secured a job as a feed specialist with a national animal feed company.
This was where my life and career advanced to include many areas of the pig industry. Thirty years later my love for agriculture is still as strong. Having had jobs in other industries, living my life as a blind person, I can say to this day that the farming industry had never shown me any discrimination at all.
During this time of my life I met some amazing people, who along the way inspired me. This is the experience that I wish to pass on to other disabled people and people with special needs, to show them that differences need not be a barrier to a goal or dream in farming and agriculture.
An award-winning marketing, PR, events and fundraising specialist, providing digital marketing support to food and farming businesses, helping to reach out and connect with a targeted audience or customer base.
An anchor woman and spokesperson, representing and supporting numerous farming organisations and charities including Ladies in Beef, The Farm Safety Foundation and The Farming Community Network.
Milly and her husband Andrew farm beef suckler cattle, sheep, arable crops and a few rare breed pigs with their two young children Angus and Dougie in rural Northamptonshire.
Milly writes and contributes to several publications including the Daventry Express, Rugby Advertiser and BBC Radio Northampton. A member of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Social Media Managers Hub.
A Love British Food ambassador since 2012, Milly is passionate about flying the flag for British Food and Farming and gave a reading at Westminster Abbey during the National Love British Food harvest service.
During the height of the pandemic, Milly established a food blog called No Fuss Meals for Busy Parents, helping to make a connection between food grown in the UK and how to make tasty meals the whole family can enjoy. From there the podcast ‘The Countryside Kitchen meets’ was created, interviewing farmers and food producers about what they grow or raise, where people can buy and how they can transform those ingredients into a tasty meal.
An e-cookery book is now available to purchase via Milly’s website shop https://www.millyfyfe.com/store/No-Fuss-Meals-for-Busy-Parents-E-Book-p516676969 or via Amazon with seasonal ingredients, recipe ideas and a fore-word by HRH The Princess Royal. For every sale a donation will be made to The Farming Community Network.
Previous roles include CEO of the Shorthorn Society, NFYFC chairman, R.A.B.I regional manager and director of the Oxford Farming Conference.
Milly currently holds the position of English Panel secretary to the Council for Awards of the Royal Agricultural Societies and supports several UK and international farming businesses with their PR, social media and marketing.
You can follow Milly on all social media platforms with the handle: @millyfyfe or visit www.millyfyfe.com
Matt Naylor – Panel Moderator
Matt Naylor is the MD of Naylor Flowers Ltd, a farming company which supplies British cut flowers to retailers in the UK and Europe. He is the chairman of Naylor Holdings Ltd, a commercial property business and a director of Socius Ltd, a labour agency.
He has been a transition mentor for the Princes Trust, a director of LEAF and chairman of the Oxford Farming Conference. He has written a regular column in the Farmers Weekly since 2004 and currently volunteers as a trustee of Concordia