On first speaking with Lynsey Martin it is clear to see why she was elected as the newest National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) chairman in February.
She has the drive, determination and passion – not to mention the personality – to lead one of the UK’s largest rural youth organisations, and this year she is keen to push the boundaries on education stereotypes.
As a self-professed grammar girl who grew up in the knowledge of agricultural shows and crop harvesting, Lynsey says her plans to focus on the breadth of career opportunities in the farming sector spiralled from a first-hand experience at school, where she was repeatedly told a career in agriculture was not ‘academic enough’.
“I always thought to myself they do not have the knowledge of agriculture to be able to tell me that,” she says.
“I think there are some really relatable and achievable things for those at secondary school age to engage with, challenging the stereotypes that all farmers do is sit on tractors and feed cows.”
Growing up, Lynsey was always exposed to agriculture as both her parents were involved in the industry. But it was only after missing her top choice at university to study veterinary science that her fall-back to study agricultural animal science at Harper Adams became the stepping stone to where she is today.
Her father is the acting fieldsman at Rugby Farmers Mart while her mother’s brother farms about 80 hectares (200 acres) of licensed crop.
Lynsey uses bits of permanent pasture from the farm to run her own pedigree Dexter herd and growing pedigree Texel flock.
“It is a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none situation,” she says.
“Going to Harper was a bit of a happy accident and it meant I got to go away and learn a lot about myself.
“When I graduated I went self-employed with local livestock work where I tried a bit of everything. And while I have been away with NFYFC, hopefully my clients have not filled my regular jobs with someone better.”