Michael Priestley, a new Member of the Guild, says he developed a passion for agriculture when growing up in North Yorkshire where he worked on farms as a teenager and for summer jobs during his University years.
“Although I did not grow up on a farm, I built up a practical knowledge of the industry through helping my family, friends and neighbours as a farm labourer,” says Michael. “I used to work on my uncle’s farm in Cumbria where I fed and mucked out from a young age. Latterly, I have worked on livestock farms in the Tees Valley area and in the Yorkshire Dales where I help with the annual clipping and hay-making.”
Michael’s interest in writing developed while at Sheffield University where he studied English Language and Linguistics. He resolved to work in the farming media and studied for a post-graduate diploma in Land Management at Harper Adams as a way of being pointed in the direction of agriculture and rural affairs.
“I have only recently started my career as a writer, working for 5m Publishing at their office in Sheffield where I am theCattleSite.com editor.” he says. “I have moved down Yorkshire but not left it!
“The website has global coverage with main focus areas being markets news, disease outbreaks and government policy,” Michael adds. “In any given day I can write about heat stress in Egypt, ticks in Norway, how the cattle futures are performing in Chicago and the dairy export outlook for Brazil.”
As well as covering cattle related news, he also enjoys writing about other sectors and rural life in general, and has contributed articles to Farm Brief and The Dalesman.
“On days off I play village cricket, watch football, play my trombone in brass bands and go hill walking,” says Michael. “And I still return home to help friends on their farms.”
Note: Contact details for all new Members and Friends of the Guild can be found by using the website search facility to locate records in the eAlert Archive.