Bridgette Baker

My RAU experience

Looking at the job description of my aspirational job to be an agricultural journalist for the Farmers Weekly, they wanted the candidate to have a degree in Agriculture over one in literature or other courses. The RAU was close to my family farm and as I was choosing a university during Covid in 2020, a close-knit community style and smaller university sounded good as that meant more opportunity for face-to-face lectures and one to one discussion with lecturers if needed, which was appealing to me.

In my placement I spent spring 2022 as a contractor for a large dairy farm and had a brilliant time driving top-spec equipment and pushing myself out of my comfort zone rolling silage pits and slurry tanking. Then in July 2022 I began a two-month placement with an agricultural PR company called Agri-hub in Devon, and learnt telephone communication skills and many writing techniques and styles for magazines like British Dairying, Farmers Weekly, and Farmers Guardian.

What I gained from the RAU 

A highlight for me was the soil science lessons as the lecturer put a lot of effort in to make sure we did practicals, and crammed as many into our third year as she could! Despite it usually raining when doing outside practicals, it was still nice to be able to have an engaging lecture. Most lecturers have an open-door policy, and you are given their contact details and office room number so you can easily see them if you have questions about an assignment or any issues. 

UK farming policies and stewardship schemes, as well as the world, are changing unpredictably and it is proving hard to keep up. Going through the RAU and researching these complicated policies has given me an appreciation and a skill to check on updates to agricultural government funding and ultimately should allow me to utilise what is available.

I now work on my family beef and arable farm in Somerset and have done work for the Farmers Weekly this summer, and I hope to keep appearing in the magazine in the future where I have time to write.