I come from an upland farm on the beautiful Welsh-Shropshire border and at least five generations of farmers. Mum and Dad have a flock of breeding ewes and a small suckler herd on about 70 acres, which is part-owned and part-tenanted.
My childhood memories are of bottle feeding lambs, pushing sheep down the race, riding in the stock lorry with Dad and getting told off for climbing on the bales. Family life revolved around farming but I never considered it as a career. From a very young age, probably around 13 or 14, I knew I wanted to be a journalist.
I finished my degree in Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire in 2002 and instead of writing a dissertation, produced a radio documentary about the previous year’s outbreak of Foot and Mouth. It was an early indication that farming would feature strongly in my media career.
I was a newspaper reporter in North Wales and the West Midlands before joining the BBC as a researcher on Countryfile in 2006. I worked on the show for the best part of 12 years, producing and directing dozens (if not hundreds) of films for the most watched factual programme on British television.
In 2013 I left television for a while to join Radio 4, as a producer on Farming Today and On Your Farm.
It was here that my interest in farming deepened, as I grew to understand the ins and outs of the industry and my place within it. I felt drawn back to my roots and started taking a keener interest in the business at home. It inspired me to apply for a Nuffield Farming Scholarship, to study the coverage of agriculture in the mainstream media. I wanted to bridge my two worlds – farming and journalism.