Welsh and French speaker Branwen Miles (25) is a graduate of the Rural Leadership Programme in 2017. She was recently appointed to the role of Project Officer at the European Landowners Organisation in Brussels. It’s a post which involves her visiting rural areas throughout Europe to promote a range of European funded projects relating to agriculture, the environment and rural development.
Branwen grew up on her family’s 310 acre organic dairy farm near Haverfordwest, where her parents, who are first generation farmers, had moved from Ceredigion in the late 90s. She loves going home and enjoys helping out with the family’s herd of 120 cows and takes a keen interest in the family’s plan to convert to robotic milking. Her father Dai was one of the Agri Academy’s first intake of students and a persuasive advocate when Branwen first mentioned applying!
Branwen, who worked as a policy adviser with CLA Wales before her current post, read international politics and French at Aberystwyth University, which involved spending a year studying in Strasbourg and says it was always her dream to work overseas.
“The Agri Academy is an amazing support network, where advice and ideas are shared willingly and friendships for life are forged – we still have our Whatsapp group!
“When others believe in you, you start to believe in yourself and realise you need to grasp any opportunities which come your way, even if it means raising your head above the parapet sometimes.
“I knew I wanted to work in Brussels but with Brexit that opportunity may never have come around again. When it did, the confidence I gained from the Agri Academy is what made me take the plunge!”
“I had always known that I wanted a career which involves me in the policy side of agriculture rather than grass roots farming, but my continuing links with the Agri Academy and the family farm means that I am never too far away from fields and cow muck!”