Sir James Paice, MP

Sir James has been a Member of Parliament for South East Cambridgeshire since 1987.  In his youth, he began a career in farm management after attending Writtle College and was active in the Young Farmers movement, becoming chairman of the Agricultural Policy Committee of the National Federation and representing the UK on the European Council of Young Farmers.  As an MP, he has occupied various agriculture-related roles over the years, including Opposition Spokesman on Agriculture from 1997-2001, Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs from 2004-2010 and Minister of State for Agriculture and Food from 2010-2012. 

Andrew Burgess

Andrew is Director of Agriculture at Produce World Ltd, leading the development of the company’s agricultural strategy.  Produce World Ltd is a Burgess family business with other farmer shareholders, which developed from its origins as a 19th century fruit and vegetable shop to become one of the largest vegetable growing and marketing companies in the UK.  Andrew attended Shuttleworth Agricultural College from 1983-1986 and has since pursued a great variety of roles in fresh produce.  He is fanatical about environmental farming, including organic, and currently sits on the LEAF Board and the NFU Board for Horticulture.  He has also served on the Soil Association, HDC and British Carrot Growers Boards. 

Beverly Dixon

Beverly is Group HR Director at G’s and the ARTIS Project Leader.  Since graduating from the Newcastle University with a BSc in Agriculture, she has worked as an HR professional throughout the food supply chain and has created an extensive training framework to develop skills for people working in agriculture.  Beverly is actively involved in developing managers for the future through an in-house graduate and apprentice training scheme.  She is a Director of Management Development Services Ltd (MDS) and a visiting lecturer at London’s CASS Business School, delivering leadership and team training to post-graduate students.  She uses training and development to contribute to sound ethical working practices, assisting in securing a reliable supply of seasonal labour. 

Dr Juno McKee

Juno is Business Projects Manager at NIAB.  She is responsible for a range of projects that involve networking with diverse stakeholders delivering services related to business, technical and educational advancement.  Juno’s scientific background is in the breeding systems of natural plant populations.  She joined NIAB in 1995 and has held many different roles there, including leading business development, management and technical co-ordination activities.  She has since obtained an MBA, and was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship on Adding Value in Wheat Chains in 2003. 

Dr Tina Barsby

Tina was appointed Chief Executive and Director of NIAB in September 2008. A plant geneticist, she has extensive experience in plant biotechnology and applied plant science, spanning both academic and commercial research in the agricultural crop sector, including 18 years with Groupe Limagrain.  She is also experienced in seed development, especially in wheat and oilseed rape, and has been involved in various cross-sector activities bringing together scientists and breeders.  Tina has a first degree in Agricultural Botany from the University of Wales, Bangor, as well as a PhD from the University of Nottingham.  She spent a post-doctoral period at Kansas State University, and also worked in Canada for several years. 

Fay Colson

Fay is Director of Audit and Compliance at G’s Growers Ltd, as well as Company Secretary. 

Julius Joel

Julius has been Managing Director at Greens of Soham Ltd (part of Spearhead International Ltd) since 2007, and a Director at Management Development Services Ltd since 1997.  He has a degree in Agriculture from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and has previously worked as Procurement and Technical Director at G’s Marketing. 

Marcus Potter

Marcus is Chief Executive for Lantra, having joined the company in summer 2014 following seven years as the Executive Director of International Market Development with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). After an early career in accountancy and finance gaining experience in a variety of sectors including power station engineering and food manufacturing Marcus joined RICS in 1991 and has held a number of senior positions, most recently leading the RICS' international growth strategy. Establishing RICS in more than twenty new markets including China, India, Brazil and the Gulf States, Marcus was responsible for building successful local teams, gaining industry recognition for professional and technical standards and increasing both membership and commercial revenues. 

Paul Rooke

Paul Rooke is Head of Policy, External Relations and Sector Head, Crop Marketing and Seed of Oilseed and Grain. Based at the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) Head Office in Peterborough he is responsible for the Association’s external policy work, management and coordination of the Crop Marketing and Seed Sectors and provision of AIC contracts and arbitration services. He previously sat on the FSA’s GM Dialogue Steering Group and the Red Tractor Crops Board, and is the current President of CELCAA, the European Liaison Committee for the Agricultural and Agri-food Trade and Chairman of DG Agri’s Cival Dialogue Group for International Aspects of Agriculture.

Richard Burkinshaw M.A. M.Eng.

Richard has worked for almost 25 years in the global food and drink industry including Mars, and Kellogg’s. Originally as a Manufacturing Engineer, later extending value chains from farmers to consumers. He founded the Sustainability function in Kellogg’s in 2008, and created and ran their European Programme of grower groups. Richard now works freelance including for LEAF, NIAB, SAI Platform and The Cool Farm Alliance. He also holds 2 non executive positions in food and agriculture, and works with several universities. He specialises in Sustainability Strategy, Agriculture and Nutrition, building reputational and commercial value for multiple stakeholders in agricultural food and drink chains.

Richard Hirst

Richard farms in Ormesby, East Norfolk, growing wheat, barley, sugar beet, vining peas, potatoes and field scale salads.  The farm is in Higher Level Stewardship and also has a small suckler herd of Red Poll and a livery yard.  Richard graduated from Shuttleworth College in 1983 with an HND in Agriculture and gained a Nuffield Scholarship in 1998 to study the growth and marketing of brassicas.  He was Chairman of the NFU Board for Horticulture and Potatoes from 2005-2009, giving him insight into a diverse range of farmer/grower businesses, as well as access to policy makers.  He is currently Chairman for Anglian Pea Growers and for G’s Growers, a Director for Anglia Farmers and a Trustee for the Norfolk Farmers Trust and the Clan Trust. 

Richard Longthorp OBE, FRAgS

Richard is a pig and arable farmer based in East Yorkshire.  He grows a mix of wheat, oilseed rape and vining peas on about 700 hectares and produces about 700 pigs per week from 1,600 outdoor sows in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.  His family has its own wholesale/retail pork business, Anna’s Happy Trotters.  Richard studied Agriculture (BSc) at Nottingham University.  He is a founder member of Agskills Ltd, a training business providing for the training needs of pig businesses, which is now linked with BPEX (a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board representing pig levy payers in England).  Richard is Chairman of the AgriSkills Forum, the National Pig Association and the Pig Industry Professional Register, a Trustee of LANTRA and a Member of the Future of Farming Review Group. 

Sarah Cowlrick

Sarah is Chief Executive Officer at AICC (Association of Independent Crop Consultants).  Within her role she manages the national three-day conference each year which attracts over 300 delegates, and oversees various contracts, the plots at CEREALS, as well as the day-to-day management of AICC.  She has been instrumental in AICC’s growth in the last 10 years, which has led to a significant market share and increased membership.  Sarah has been involved in independent agronomy for 19 years, having previously run a business in farm accounting advice and training.  She sits on various committees representing AICC and is a Director and Company Secretary of Rothamsted Research Association, where she assisted with their newly formed open access policy. 

Tess Howe

Tess is responsible for the implementation of the AHDB Skills Strategy. The strategy aims to improve industry engagement with skills and professional recognition. Key activities include: liaising with stakeholders, promoting business benefits of training and developing a HR toolkit. Over the last three years she has managed over £3million pounds worth of RDPE skills contracts. Prior to AHDB, Tess implemented a pig industry skills strategy, increasing the engagement of industry staff with training activity.Tess also has experience developing and delivering training programmes, working both nationally and internationally to improve staff skills. Tess is a member of both the Agri-skills Forum and the AgriTech Leadership Council skills group.

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