Kate Lee - New and emerging technologies
I am 28 years old and I worked for the UK farming unions and the National Pig Association in Brussels from September 2006 until September 2012. Whilst this was a very cosmopolitan life I lived and breathed agriculture every day in trying to communicate the needs and aspirations of UK farmers to policy makers.
Key policies I worked included organic food, biotechnology, cloning, food labelling and climate change. I also worked with the EU Commission, Member State Governments and the European Parliament at a crucial time when welfare laws were coming into force on farm animals such as laying hens and pigs.
I had a joyful upbringing in Cheshire, I have a twin sister Jenny and a younger sister Amy who work in photography and fashion. I love languages and speak French, Spanish, Portuguese and I am learning Danish. Otherwise in my spare time I enjoy hiking, running half marathons (I could never do a full one!) and touch rugby. I am also partial to a bit of singing and dancing!
Agriculture news from the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, June 12th 2012
Today at Rio+20 I was chatted up by a minor French celebrity (buy me a beer and I will tell you who). Make that a 'lost' minor French celebrity - I excitedly gave him directions and he replied “merci Mademoiselle Lee” (then I swear he looked at my cleavage and gave me a pout).
In any case I realised later that the directions I gave him were wrong, oh dear.
Back to Rio+20 farm business though – when I left the conference centre early evening we were all on a high because an agreement has been made on the importance of agricultural research in the negotiating text.
The World Farmers’ Organisation has long called for this to be prioritised so hopefully somebody somewhere is listening.
Speaking of agricultural research, three of our delegates were privileged to have been invited to speak at an event this afternoon on knowledge transfer by the US Government.
Key points were that knowledge=power, knowledge=profit and extension services are transforming the lives of small holder farmers, who count for half of the world’s poor.
Bridgit Muasa from the Kenyan Government and farm presidents Zeinab Al Momany from Jordan and Rajeev Chauhan from the Himalayas made for a diverse and impressive WFO addition to the panel.
Duties don’t stop this weekend, you can follow me on Twitter for negotiation updates @katybettylee