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 2012
So I arrived safely in Rio!
After a day's respite in the crumbling, beautiful, arty neighbourhood of Santa Teresa (where Greenpeace are rumoured to be staying for the summit) I am now making use of the free wifi in Copacabana.
But there is no time for caipirinha, rollerblading or my thong bikini, it's time to focus on what the global farming community can get out of this historical meeting of 18,000 stakeholders and more than 100 heads of government.
Tomorrow I will meet the group of small scale family farmers I will be helping to guide with the World Farmers' Organization over the next 9 days. These farmers will be from Africa, Asia and South America and trying to help get their voices heard is going to be a privilege and a challenge.
The official round of stakeholder meetings doesn't start until the 13th, though we have a get-together on farm advisory services, science and food (very good for my Nuffield topic) and a 'youth' event that I hope to be speaking on the panel at before then.
We visited the Rio Centro conference site today for registration. I am afraid the only breaking news I have for you is that it is very big, impressive, palm-tree tropical and the workmen are still slogging like mad with just 2 days to go until the official opening.
I hope you stay with me for the next 9 days!