Fife farmer ‘shocked’ at getting MBE – after thinking email was friend ‘pulling her leg’

Alison celebrating with her family.Alison celebrating with her family.
Alison celebrating with her family.
A Fife farmer said she was “shocked” after learning she was to receive an MBE.

Alison Anne Milne is one of 11 Fifers named in this year’s Queen’s Birthdays Honours list.

Alison, from Auchtermuchty, got her MBE for services to rural Scotland and agriculture.

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“I was very shocked,” she said. “I’ve known for a while – it was supposed to be announced in June. I got it in an email, so I thought it was just a friend pulling my leg. But it looked pretty official.

“I was excited and it was just completely unexpected.

“On the day I found out I ran outside in my socks to find my husband. He was on the phone, and I was jumping up and down next to him. It was surreal.”

The family celebrated with a relaxing boat trip and a nice meal.

Alison has been a member of the agricultural community all her life, being born into a family of farmers, and now married to one.

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She started working at the National Farmers’ Union aged 25, working her way from a regional manager to the commercial operations director.

But she believes it is her work as co-chair of the National Council of Rural Advisers (NRCA) that earned her the honour.

In this role, her aim was to advise the Scottish Government on the future of the rural economy post-Brexit, which involved consulting rural businesses across the country, before giving a presentation explaining how the rural community benefits the national economy.

In 2012, she moved to Auchtermuchty, where she lives with her husband and two children at their home – Demperston Farm.

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The couple have also built up a new business over the last few years, Crafty Maltsters.

The company takes the barley grown on the farm and uses it for malting, using it in its own products as well as other products made in the area.

When Alison receives her MBE, it will not be her first time meeting the Queen.

Last year, she, along with seven others, was invited for a lunch with the Queen. She had been nominated by the Scottish Government for the special meal.

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However, while Alison has rubbed shoulders with First Ministers and monarchs, it is her time with farmers that she has been reflecting on.

“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to meet some amazing people in my career,” she said.

“This honour is because of those people and what I’ve learned from them. I’m really lucky to be part of the industry.”

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