Show director Aylett Roan is looking forward to a successful show this year to mark the 200th anniversary.

Originally hailing from Melrose, she now lives and farms in Dumfries and Galloway, working with husband, Stuart, on their dairy, beef and sheep farm, as well as running Roan’s Dairy. Here she tells us about herself and hopes for the show:

How did you first get involved with farming?

Originally, I come from Melrose in the Scottish Borders, where at the age of 11 I started working for a family on their farm in Selkirk. I started by watering and feeding sheep at lambing time for something to do ... little did I know it would light a fire in me that would stay with me throughout my life.

I left school at 15 and went to study agriculture at the local college, which then led me to working in Essex on a pig and sheep farm, before returning to Scotland to finish my college education at SRUC Oatridge.

I continued to work in agriculture and farm assurance until I met my husband, Stuart. Fast forward a few years and I now work alongside my husband and his family with our two boys, Fergus and Fraser, on a dairy, beef and sheep farm near Dalbeattie.

Since 2011, our cows have been milked by two Lely robots. In 2015, we diversified and created Roan’s Dairy to sell the milk produced on the farm direct to the consumer.

Along with my sister-in-law, Tracey, we created The Udder Bar, a milkshake bar that attends festivals, agricultural shows, weddings, and events throughout the year – and yes, the Udder Bar will be at the Highland Show!

How did you first get involved with RHASS?

A fellow director from my area casually popped it into conversation one day: ‘Had I ever thought about standing to be a director of RHASS?. Me ... I thought she'd lost her mind!

Imposter syndrome set in and I started to talk about it, and find out more information. When the RHASS Road Show visited a venue in the neighbouring town, I found it very interesting and useful. I thought ‘well, why can’t I?’

A year or so later, a position in our area became available so I put myself forward, and with the backing from members in Dumfries and Galloway I was elected for a four-year term.

Can you tell us how you are involved with Women in Agriculture Scotland? What is WiAS doing at the RHS this year?

I am chair of Women in Agriculture Scotland. The aim of which is to support, inspire and develop women in Scottish agriculture to achieve their aspirations and create a more progressive, successful, and inclusive industry.

Our membership is inclusive and we welcome everyone. There is a wealth of experience and knowledge out there to be shared and learned from. We do this through events, networking, and signposting.

As an organisation, we are apolitical and work closely with industry partners, one of which is RHASS – it has been part of WiAS since it started in 2015.

This year at the show we will be hosting a breakfast in the President’s Pavilion. There will be networking opportunities and interactive information sessions on several prevalent Scottish agricultural issues.

I am looking forward to meeting up with everyone again after a long time apart, re-establishing old connections, and making new ones.

* For more information on the breakfast, taking place at the show on Thursday, June 23, in the Presidents Pavilion please see the @WiAS social media channels. If you're interested in becoming a member of WiAS, please visit the website for details

What are some of the challenges you have faced as a woman working in agriculture and how have you overcome them?

I've been fortunate and not been met with many challenges within agriculture. I always knew what I wanted to do and just went for it.

I was quite single minded as I knew I wanted to farm, get the wellies on, and do hard graft every day. However, if I had been more open-minded, I may have seen different opportunities that passed me by – life lesson number one, keep your eyes open and explore all routes!

I will say that it is easier when you are young and single, as you only have yourself to deal with and having a family has challenged me, my outlook, and opinions a lot. You can’t just go and do a job or work late as there are others who rely on you, so having a supportive partner is essential.

Good communication is, likewise, vital, but I am still working on the communication bit!

What does your role involve as RHASS Director?

I proudly represent my local area of Dumfries and Galloway, and am part of the team that is tasked with running the flagship event – the Royal Highland Show.

I am the chief steward of goats, which is a delight as goats just make me smile – they are such characters. Along with fellow directors, I sit on committees within the society eg, the public relations and education (PR and E) committee which feeds into the main RHASS board, where the decisions are taken that shape the path and strategic direction of the society.

As a trustee of RHASS as a charity, we work to ensure that the society remains true to its roots and to its charters through its charitable remit to support and enhance rural Scotland.

For many years, I only saw RHASS as the Highland Show, however being a director has thrown that idea right out the window – there is so much more to the society.

The Highland Show is just four amazing days out of the whole year, with RHASS working constantly to fulfil its charitable remit, undertaking historical preservation work and continually striving to help and support Scottish agriculture.

How has RHASS innovated this year?

There are lots of exciting new things coming this year, some of my favourites are the RHS app and RHS TV.

The free-to-view RHS TV will see a dynamic mix of live and pre-recorded content broadcast throughout the four days. Not only beamed across the globe, RHS TV will also be transmitted across the showground on giant screens throughout the four days, with content captured available to watch back on the Royal Highland Show website.

We are also introducing The Big Wheel, which stands 32m high and will allow views across the entire showground, Edinburgh and the Forth – providing the great Scottish weather is kind to us! You will find me on the wheel with a Roan’s Dairy milkshake in hand.

We also have a dedicated Kids Zone as our team have been working hard to create a super fun and family friendly area where your little ones can play on climbing frames or whizz round on a mini tractor while parents can sit down and relax for five minutes.

There's a lot more but please see the RHS website, social media and press for more details.

You've appeared in This Farming Life, what was the experience like?

It was brilliant. To start with, it was a bit strange as I am the last person to put myself in front of a mirror, let alone a film camera! But when you are in your natural surroundings talking about something you love and do every day you forget very quickly there is a camera pointed at you.

The This Farming Life team are great and made it a positive and enjoyable experience. The team were welcomed into our home and life, so we did miss them when filming was over (but don’t let on).

We got really nice comments from people who loved watching our family, which does make you feel good, but the highlight was once being recognised in the toilet block in the members' caravan site about 4am not looking ready for the day (if you know, you know) which was funny. I still laugh about that!

I would urge anyone to put themselves forward for this, it is great exposure for agriculture and allows everyone to see beyond the farm gate.

What are you most looking forward to at the show this year?

So, so much, but in short, a pint or two with friends in the new Silo Bar catching up with the goings on from the last few years.