Governance and Trustees

Governance and Trustees

Governance and Trustees

Meet the Trustees of Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust

 

 

Helen Woolley

Chairman

Helen was elected as Chairman of Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust in November 2018 and is a Director and UK representative of Nuffield International. She is an experienced Board Director with 6 years’ experience as both Executive and non-executive Director and has an in depth knowledge and understanding of agriculture and the wider rural sector gained from 35+ years’ experience working in the industry, the last 12 years at senior management level and most recently as Director General of CLA until retiring in November 2018. She also has a wealth of practical experience having worked on dairy and arable farms including her husband’s farm business in Lincolnshire.

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 Chris Graf-Grote

Vice Chairman

Chris started his farming career in 1976 growing and packing vegetables for supermarkets in the Fens and later became tenant farmer on the East Coast of Norfolk, where he lives. He is a 1989 Nuffield Scholar, having studied "Poland and the Soviet Union - Are there opportunities for the UK Food and Farming Industry?” Following his study, he was the initiator and co-founder of the Nuffield Russia Trust, undertook numerous EU PHARE and TACIS projects involving Russia, Ukraine and most Central European countries and set up a farming tenancy in former East Germany. With 2 partners, he founded in 1995 what is now Spearhead International Ltd, farming some 85,000ha in 4 Central European countries and the UK. Spearhead was sold in 2015 to a private equity fund. Chris has retired from farming, but continues to provide international and family business advice on agricultural acquisitions, restructuring and professional training; including mentoring.

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Richard Percy

Trustee

Richard was appointed a Trustee in December 2019. He has farmed in West Hertfordshire since 1983, now in partnership with his son and has managed other farming businesses in southern England over a career going back 40 years. He has held a number of previous Board positions including Chairman of NFU Mutual, a position he left in September 2019 after 16 years on the Board. Richard is not a Nuffield Scholar and brings another perspective to the Board. He has extensive experience in governance of charitable trusts as well as financial services and other businesses.

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Dr Sean Beer

Trustee 

Sean is an academic with a broad interest in the food supply chain, rural areas, and the way that we are connected to each other and the natural world. Originally he trained as an Agricultural Scientist, studying at the universities of Reading, Massey and Wolverhampton. He obtained his doctorate, which looked at Perceptions of the Authenticity of Food, whilst working at Bournemouth University.

This academic work has been backed up with considerable practical experience in agriculture, marketing, the food supply chain and the rural economy in general, gained on the family farm and within associated family businesses and the food industry, local and international.

He was awarded his Nuffield Scholarship in 1999 and looked at the International Supply Chain for Beef and Sheep Meat.

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Ali Capper

Trustee

Ali Capper is a returning Nuffield Scholar Trustee from 2013. Ali farms hops, eating apples and cider apples in partnership with her husband on the Herefordshire/Worcesteshire border. She sits on the Boards of NFU’s national Horticulture & Potatoes, Norton Cider Growers Association, the British Hop Association, Chairs Wye Hops (British hop breeding programme), is a Trustee of Farming & Countryside Education (FACE) and is the Worcestershire Member Representative for NFU Mutual.    

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David Gardner

Trustee

David completed his Nuffield Arden Scholarship in 2009/10 on New Science and Technologies which led to a career change. He has spent the last six years at the RASE where he launched a new initiative, Innovation for Agriculture, which was focused on informing farmers of new technologies that would improve their businesses. David 'retired' in May of this year but has a variety of interests which include: NED on the Management Advisory Board of the Rural Payments Agency, NED on the Board of Waldersey Farms, Director of The Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit, Trustee of The Frank Parkinson Agricultural Trust, Ambassador for Social Farms and Gardens, assisting St George's House at Windsor with their programme of farming consultations and voluntary work for The Allerton Project where David is managing a small building project.

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Sarah Hughes

Trustee

Sarah Hughes is a returning scholar from 2017 - She has an Agriculture and Environmental degree from Newcastle University and has worked in the Agricultural Industry for last 20 years initially in the Crop Protection Industry as an Agronomist then for Syngenta PLC then moving into the Livestock Sector following a move to North Wales.  Her Nuffield Farming Scholarship 'The Economics of Vertical Farming' looked at the current trend of Controlled Environment Agriculture and she sits on the Welsh Government Controlled Environment Agriculture Strategy Group.  She currently works for Menter a Busnes and lives on the family sheep and beef farm where she is keen promoter of the environmental sustainability of pasture fed livestock.

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Wyn Owen

Trustee

 

Wyn is an Organisational Development Consultant supporting individuals and organisations through change; utilising combinations of facilitation, coaching and training. He holds two Masters Degrees and is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist. He also manages the family business based in mid Wales involving a performance recorded sheep flock, grazing lets, environmental schemes and property. Wyn has extensive experience as a Chairman including being a past Chair of two governing bodies, Powys Governors Association and Nuffield Wales. He has been a judge for Apprenticeships Awards Wales for many years and served as a Board Member on Governors Wales. 

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Tom Rawson

Trustee

Tom lives on his family dairy farm in West Yorkshire with his wife Catherine and their three young children. His main role is director of Evolution Farming, a predominately dairy farming business spread over six units with a mixture of tenanted farms and contract farming agreements. Tom's involvement in the wider Agricultural industry includes past roles as national vice chair of NFU dairy and former board member of AHDB Dairy.

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Dr Angus Selby

Trustee

Gus grew up on an irrigated wheat, soya, citrus and cattle farm in Africa on the Zimbabwean highveld and his family now farm in Mkushi in Zambia. With his wife Callie he now lives in Weybridge along with two aspiring farmer sons, Paddy (3.5) and Jomo (0.75).

Gus has spent the last 15 years running a series of global agri-investment funds and has extensive board and governance experience.  He was a 2018 Nuffield Scholar, exploring creative business models at the interface between Institutional Investment and Family Farms/Young Farmers in the UK.

Gus is also a keen fly-fisherman and by default is very passionate about the environment and the role that agriculture needs to play from a sustainability perspective. He is also a proud graduate of Wye College and Brasenose College, Oxford.

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Oliver Surman

Trustee

Oliver's family business is an 850 acre, organic mixed farm in Worcestershire. He is also am a partner in a value added business, Pegoty Hedge, that manufactures organic fresh prepared meals. The farm also hosts and runs numerous public events through the year including a triathlon and music festival.

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Nic Snell 

Trustee

Nic Snell lives in Herefordshire with his wife Lucy and is Managing Director of Certainly Wood, the UK’s largest specialist producer of British kiln dried logs and kindling and Flamers natural firelighters.

The business was set up 2005 with his brother George (also a Nuffield Scholar) who pioneered the kiln drying of firewood as part of a farm diversification project. The business now supplies up to 20,000 tonnes of logs and kindling across the UK.

Nic studied at Cirencester Agricultural College, grew raspberries for a number of years before running a local soft fruit co-operative – Hereford Soft Fruit Group for approx. 10 years supplying 4 of the major multiples from 16 growers. He did his Nuffield Scholarship in 1998 studying Soft Fruit Marketing and then joined a larger co-op – now Berry Gardens as their Business Development Executive. Recently he has become a Nuffield mentor and joined the Nuffield Business Group.

Since setting up Certainly Wood, Nic was chairman of Woodfuel Wales and recently became involved with the Stove Industry Alliance sitting on the Exec committee and also on the governance panel of the Woodsure ‘Ready to Burn’ quality assurance scheme.

 

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Jo Speed

Trustee

I have worked in the dairy industry for 30 years, and have a wide range experience across the industry from working in the UK and overseas on large dairy farms in herd management roles including 17 years working in an advisory capacity from consultancy to knowledge transfer roles.  As a result, I have a practical and experienced approach to the facilitation, delivery and sharing of knowledge related to livestock farming.

I am a graduate from Harper Adams with a degree in Agriculture with Animal Science, as well as holding qualifications in psychology; coaching and mentoring. 

I have a broad range of skills being a Master Cow Signals trainer since 2011 examining cow behaviour, but my biggest passion is people, and my main skill sets lie here:

Working 1:1 life coaching and mentoring
Working with farming families as a coach, mediator and mentor around the issues of succession
On farm working with staff and farm teams developing HR protocols; staff training, mentoring and staff development as well as coaching individuals within farm teams
Working with mainly farmer groups as a facilitator and coach challenging and motivating change at all levels. 

 

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Trustees Opportunities

If you are interested in volunteering to become a Nuffield Farming Trustee, please contact Mike Vacher by email: director@nuffieldscholar.org.