New Guild member Ros Lloyd admits to being embarrassed that it has taken so long to send in her application: “It’s something I should have done years ago,” she says. “Now I’m looking forward to finally finding out what being a Guild member involves!”
Ros has recently taken up the post of communications manager at the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB). In fulfilling that role, Ros will draw upon her previous experience in communications and the arable sector.
“My role is to convey all the many different aspects of plant science, crop evaluation and agronomy work carried out by NIAB and NIAB TAG,” Ros explains. “This is through various channels, including events, web, publications and press, and to varied audiences, including our members and stakeholders.
“Surprisingly, given my age and gender, I can be a bit of a geek when it comes to technology,” she adds. “But I really enjoy exploring the opportunities of social and digital media and explaining to my colleagues how it all works.”
Ros has a firm footing in agriculture as an arable farmer’s daughter, a dairy farmer’s daughter-in-law and an Edinburgh University and Harper Adams crop science graduate. Her career began as an agronomist and renewable fuels specialist with Banks Agriculture, before she moved to Advanta Seeds as combinable crops technical manager.
A move into PR and communications followed; Ros spent eight years with agri-food PR agency Chamberlain before setting up FrontFoot Communications with Daniel Pearsall in 2007. Over the past 11 years she has worked NIAB, the Crop Protection Association, BSPB, Syngenta Seeds, HGCA, EBLEX and Dow AgroSciences.
“As for my private life, I’m married to Tim, an agronomist, and at home our two daughters take up most of our time,” says Ros. “Our youngest, Katy, has just started school, and our eldest daughter, Hannah, who is 7 years old and has cerebral palsy, started walking about six months ago – both developments are making life quite a bit easier!”
Coping with cerebral palsy has been an enormous challenge for the family but Hannah’s disability has opened up a whole new world with many new friends and colleagues, she adds.
“I’m now a trustee of a small local charity, the Pidley Mountain Rescue Team (it’s based in the Fens!), which provides specialised equipment for disabled adults and children in Huntingdonshire,” Ros notes. “Please check out the new website; we’ve recently given the charity’s brand a makeover with a new logo and Facebook page as well, which has attracted a new generation of younger applicants and members. We’ve also had superb support from local radio stations and newspapers – the communications job doesn’t stop at the end of the working day!”