Agricultural journalist, Alice Kate Dyer, from Kent, England, decided from a young age that farming was what she was going to do in life, and nothing could convince her otherwise. Growing up on a small dairy farm and without a huge amount of farming knowledge, after leaving school Alice spent the next five years studying agriculture, first at Hadlow College in Kent, and then a BSc Honors degree course at The Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester. It was during this time she started to blog her country lifestyle, working on livestock farms and game shoots in her spare time, and her love for writing grew.
After graduating from university she started to seek out opportunities to combine her knowledge of agriculture, and her talent for writing, and was offered a job as a reporter for South East Farmer magazine in her home county of Kent, where she undertook formal journalism training.
“The best thing about my job is being able to visit new farms everyday, seeing new systems and each farm’s unique methods of practice. Unlike many industries, farmers love to share their knowledge with others. It’s helped me see the bigger picture and I love promoting innovative, forward thinking farmers in the positive light they deserve.”
During her time at South East Farmer she also bred and showed her own flock of Southdown sheep, keeping busy and never letting her feet touch the ground. But after two years in her role, Alice's feet became itchy and she decided that it was now or never. She packed in her job, sold her sheep, and embarked on her next adventure, working on a sheep station near Gore, in the South Island of New Zealand. Here she learnt about the completely different methods adopted by New Zealand farmers and familiarised herself with the issues threatening their industry- some very different to anything she'd ever experienced, but many very similar to those she was familiar with at home.
After a season of lambing and tailing followed by some relief milking on a Fonterra Christchurch dairy farm, Alice headed up to Queensland, Australia, mustering cattle in the outback and picking limes. Now, Alice’s overseas adventures continue, living in the Puglia region of Southern Italy with her partner Adam, continuing her work as a freelance agricultural journalist and returning to the UK for contract farm work, while Adam work’s as Farm Manager for a large salad growing enterprise.
“Agriculture as a whole has filled my life with adventure and allowed me to travel all over the world. Everyday is a school day and I love learning about the completely different systems all over the world. From 30,000 head sheep stations in New Zealand, to a flock of five goats grazing an olive grove in southern Italy, to seeing amazing crops grown like watermelon, chickpeas and ginger. I feel really privileged to have found my place in such a hugely diverse and fast moving global industry.”
Like you Alice, we love hearing about the diversity in experiences and enjoyment that so many of our AgWomen are finding in the Primary Industries. We can't wait to hear more of your stories!