Kate Lee  -  New and emerging technologies

Young Nuffield (Bob Matson) Award

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! 

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Project Details 

Study: New and emerging technologies in agriculture

I wanted to choose a topic for my Nuffield Scholarship that would enable me to get right to the heart of the world's hottest political debates in agriculture. So where better to begin than an investigation into the role of new and emerging technologies in meeting tomorrow's challenges to feed the world and protect our precious natural resources?

The differences in the way policies are made in Europe compared to the Americas have never failed to amaze me. From where I have been sitting in Brussels, it seems as though the farmers across the water face very different opportunities....and challenges to our own.  

I believe that politics is more about people than ivory towers or complicated institutions and I am keen to find out how this works in other parts of the world. I plan to visit North America, Argentina and Brazil.