Duncan's entire career has been livestock focused with the journey beginning at the Meat & Livestock Commission before his time at Waitrose and currently at MSD. He attended his first BCBC conference in Cambridge back in 1997, and for over 25 years, it has been one of the first commitments in his calendar each year. In addition Duncan has served on the BCBC committee and privileged to be Club Chairman during 2011/2012. Duncan has also served on several industry committees including Red Tractor, FAWC and BRC. In 2015 he became a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies of the United Kingdom and in 2019 a Fellow of the Institute of Agriculture Management.
In his spare time Duncan can often be found on a racecourse and has had several shares in racing syndicates over the years. The latest project is learning to train a gun dog since Belle his black Labrador arrived during lockdown back in autumn 2020!
Duncan is humbled and honored to become the latest President of the British Cattle Breeders Club joining an elite group of distinguished individuals who have held this post over the years. He is really looking forward to supporting the BCBC committee build on the Club’s solid credentials by attracting the very best speakers to inform and inspire us each year but also to enjoy the spirit of fellowship and friendship which the Club is renowned for.
Ben is a fourth generation farmer and third generation Charolais breeder, farming 274ha over three sites on top of the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire. Currently farming around 100 head of mostly pedigree Charolais with some Charolais Wagyu cross cattle for his beef enterprise ‘Chagyu’. The arable land is farmed under a share farming agreement with a local contractor. Ben farms with the help of his amazing 81 year old father and with part time help from a keen local young farmer. Ben is a former Chair of the British Charolais Society, which was founded by his Grandfather and others in 1962, and has enjoyed roles with Charolais and Charbray International. He is currently an NBA board member and sits on the board of CHeCS the Cattle Health Certification Scheme.
He is an avid traveller, rugby supporter, cook and reader, particularly of cosmology, particle physics and novels. In the past he enjoyed working briefly for the Holstein Friesian Society as an editorial assistant and for AG-World Europe assisting in the export of breeding pigs to the far east. With a friend Ben also ran an enterprise ‘Pinballers Anonymous’, they rapidly became the largest reseller of Pinball machines in the UK, hosted many events and championships culminating the International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA) world championships which was held on the farm (the only occasion it had left Las Vegas).
Andy originates from family farming roots in Kent, brought up on a small mixed livestock and horticultural farm, and later graduated from Seale-Hayne Agricultural College with a BSc in Agriculture in 1986. After graduating he spent 15 years in the agricultural ruminant feed supply industry covering a range of technical and commercial roles for a national feed manufacturer. Andy joined Coombe farm in 2001 to work initially rationalising the farm estate. This involved creating and implementing the strategy of planned systematic conversion to organic milk production as the core of the future Organic Milk Pool for Coombe Farm. In parallel to this work he was tasked with the creation and development of the dedicated organic milk supply chain for Coombe Farm purchasing milk from 27 local dairy farms. This has subsequently become the Waitrose Duchy organic milk supply pool. The work also included taking many of the farmers through organic conversion and supporting when required. This role finished in 2020 when Andy left the business and set up his own consultancy advising farmers dairy farmers and the dairy supply chain.
Andy took on a farm business tenancy with his wife Rosemary in 2008 milking 250 cows supplying milk to Arla. He completed a further degree, MSc in Organic Agriculture in 2009. Andy and his wife of 27 years Rosemary, have two daughters.
Heidi was born and bred in Derbyshire and grew up on the family’s dairy farm. She was an enthusiastic member of her local Young Farmer’s Club for many years. Heidi has worked within the agricultural industry for nearly 20 years including working for a Milk Quota broker, as a Dairy Farm Assurance assessor and more recently as a farm secretary for a herd of 100 milking pedigree Holsteins.
Heidi and her partner have 2 young children and live on a small holding in the Peak District, she continues her farm secretarial duties as well as running the BCBC office.
Coming from a non-agricultural background, Andy initially gained dairy experience on a number of farms in North Yorkshire before graduating from Harper Adams in 2000 with a degree in Agriculture with Land and Farm Management. He continued on farm after completing his degree, initially as Head Herdsman in Yorkshire and then as a Dairy Farm Manager in Herefordshire where he was responsible for day-to-day management, staffing and budgeting on a large mixed dairy and arable farm. Andy joined AHDB Dairy as an Extension Officer in 2009 and has been Technical Manager for Breeding and Fertility since 2014, leading on delivery of the Calf to Calving Initiative for which he was awarded the Innovation in Agriculture team award in December 2017.
Andy is married with three young children and lives in the market town of Newent in Gloucestershire. In February 2018, he joined WhiteAvon Consultancy, part of the Farm Consultancy Group as a Dairy Farm Consultant. Since joining in 2010, he has found BCBC an invaluable source of information on current and future issues for UK farmers and a great opportunity to meet likeminded people from the industry and farming.
Amy is a beef and sheep farmer’s daughter from North Yorkshire. Having qualified as a veterinary nurse, she has spent most of her career in cattle breeding working as a Reproductive Management Systems technician for Genus ABS before moving onto Embryo Transfer and IVF work at a vet practice in Gloucestershire. Amy currently works for AHDB Beef & Lamb as a Senior Knowledge Exchange Manager. Amy has a great passion for transferring the latest research and advancements in cattle fertility and breeding into practical changes on farm. She has a strong knowledge of beef, sheep and dairy systems and is currently studying for an MSc at Harper Adams in Agricultural Science and Production Systems. Amy is married to Sean, a farm vet based in Shropshire and has 2 young children.
Charlie is Norfolk born and bred and was educated at Thetford Fulmerston and Shuttleworth College’s and a ‘finishing school’ in Western Australia. Charlie ran the Scales Farm Herd of Pedigree Holsteins on the family farm for 23 years. The farm currently has an Angus suckler conservation grazing enterprise, Poultry Unit, arable crops and diversified farm buildings. He has worked in a variety of roles at Easton College as technician, assessor, instructor and Lecturer in Livestock Husbandry. President of EUROPEA UK, part of a network of European Land Based Colleges and European Co-ordinator of Projects and student work placements at Easton.
He is currently Chairman of Norfolk Proficiency Test Committee and recent past Chairman of Norfolk Holstein Club. Charlie was also a former NFU branch Chairman. His other interests include Norwich City, rugby, cricket, cycling, rock music and quizzes. Charlie is passionate about developing new entrants to the livestock industry and in particular provide as wide a range of possibilities to bring out the best in young people. He has introduced students to the BCBC conference for several years and sees the club as the ideal forum for inspiration and innovation in the Livestock sector.
Victoria grew up on a lowland sheep farm which gave her a natural curiosity for data and genetics as a result of using EBVs in the breeding decisions of the pedigree and commercial flocks. Victoria was an active member of young farmers taking part in committee roles, competitions, and travel trips. Latterly she is involved in the Charollais Sheep young Breeders group. She studied at the University of Nottingham, completing a degree in Agriculture and Livestock Science before joining AHDB as part of the Animal Genetics team with her main responsibility being to manage the dairy genomic evaluation releases. Her passion in her spare time is to get out on the farm either with her parents or husbands family beef and arable farm.
Originally from a non-farming back ground Joe grew up with an interest in all things agriculture. Stealing himself away as often as possible to visit his uncle who milked 120 pedigree Ayrshire cows in a little village near south Molton, north Devon. This just fuelled his passion and love for the industry. After studying for a degree at Cardiff university he joined Mole Valley Farmers, working in many different parts of the business gaining experience in all areas of farming, from soil science to basics of animal medicine and agri retail, archiving both AMTRA and FACTS qualifications. He then joined Crediton Milling as a feed adviser obtaining a diploma in ruminant nutrition from Harper Adam’s. Recently joining Lely as a sales consultant, Joe is excited to explore the wave for on farm automation driving the farming industry forward.
Joe currently lives in north Devon with his young family and three working springer spaniels. He is very keen on country pursuits, both shooting and mountain biking take up his spare time when he isn’t spending with his family.He has keep a small number of his own livestock over the years, peaking with a flock of 50 New Zealand bred Romney ewes tupped to Texel. Joe hopes his passion and love for farming will be reflected in what he brings to the committee and club.
Alex’s interest in animal breeding was piqued by an undergraduate summer placement working on breed-specific parentage assignment in Exmoor ponies. After a period working in equine and canine genetics, Alex moved to the University of Edinburgh, where she gained her MSc in animal breeding, and subsequently her PhD in dairy cattle genomics.
Following the completion of her PhD in 2016, Alex worked as a dairy geneticist at EGENES, before making the decision to move into a more industry-facing role as AHDB’s beef breeding and genetics specialist in 2018. After almost 5 years at AHDB, Alex has recently moved into the commercial space – in January 2023 she joined the Beef Product Development team at Genus ABS, as their Genetic Services Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Alex first attended BCBC in 2014 as a student speaker, and as a current committee member, she looks forward to encouraging student participation in the club and its conference, and to help provide knowledge on genetics and animal breeding in an accessible manner.
Rhys milks 100 spring calving Holstein Friesians at Moor farm, Holywell in Flintshire in partnership with his parents. After gaining a degree in animal science from Harper Adams he went on to work for Llysfasi agricultural college as a dairy lecturer and then part time for Farming Connect running dairy projects on local dairy farms in the area. He was livestock secretary for Caerwys show for 15 years and was also HYB co-ordinator for the North Wales Holstein Club. Rhys has been measuring grass for over 15 years and keen to drive yields from grass in his herd. He is very interested in the genetic improvement of the black and white cow, especially those who excel at producing milk solids from grazed grass over many lactations.
In his spare time he still helps out his old football team with training and enjoys listening to popular welsh language music.
George farms the family farm just south of York with his father, Stephen. They run 550 pedigree Meatlinc ewes lambing in April, producing Meatlinc rams for sale each year, operating a grass-based system. George's grandfather started the Meatlinc breed in the 1960's and George has continued the interest in sheep breeding and genetics. They also finish around £2k store lambs a year for other farmers on a profit share agreement, as well as rearing 120 dairy cross calves through to finish.
Further enterprise's they run are 32,000 laying hens and Lindum turf, supplying turf for landscaping, wildflower, roof and events nationwide.
George is a AHDB Beef and Lamb sector council member.
Matt comes from a family dairy farm in Sussex which, since autumn 2022, milks 400 Pedigree Holsteins through Lely Robots. The herd is fully genomically tested and is one of the top PLI herds in the country with the aim of breeding more bulls into AI to sit alongside the three Huddlestone Bulls which currently reside with Genus. Matt graduated as a vet in 2015 from Bristol. He subsequently worked in Somerset before returning to work in Sussex. Although his full-time veterinary career is behind him, he still looks after a few local dairy farms in Sussex as well as developing the advanced breeding programme for Huddlestone Farmers.
Outside of work Matt coaches the local mens rugby team which often takes up more of his time than when he used to play!
Kat was raised in the cow shed of her family farm, Actonelm Holsteins over in Wales and she now farms alongside her husband and sons near Bristol, with a 50 cow herd of Angus cattle, a small flock of sheep and a farm shop. She studied at Bristol University Vet School, where she also achieved a degree in microbiology, and since 2011 has worked for George Farm Vets. She is interested in all areas of farm practice with a particular passion for dairy youngstock rearing, after launching The George Heifer Rearing Scheme in 2012 she was awarded an MSD Ruminant Bursary to investigate colostrum cleanliness and its effect on calf immunity. In 2016, Kat achieved her Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (Cattle) and currently sits on the board of the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA).
Within Kat's veterinary work her team focus on research, the practical application of veterinary science to optimise youngstock health, producing for the processors and the role of Artificial Intelligence in farming, with many other projects to ensure great advice and training is delivered. She is driven by knowledge which she applies practically to her own farm too, being that rare mix of active vet and active farmer and is looking forward to being involved with BCBC in promoting knowledge and to linking practical cattle breeding to science.
Katie is a dairy farmers daughter from southeast Cornwall. She grew up on a small dairy farm and from an early age she loved cows and was in the parlour with her dad at every chance she got. She was an active member of her local YFC club and held various offices, along with taking part in numerous competitions including public speaking and stock judging. It was through YFC where Katie met her husband. They managed a farm together before taking on a Cornwall County Farm tenancy on a dairy unit 5 years ago. They milk 100 Friesian cross cows on a grass-based system supplying milk to Arla. Katie is the vice chairman for the Launceston Arla District. Her whole life has been involved with agriculture. She’s passionate about the dairy industry and excited about what the future has to offer and the opportunities that will come along.
Away from the cows Katie enjoys spending time with her horses, with winter months spent hunting and summer time competing when time allows. Katie's passion for farm life has been bred into their three children too who also get involved with all aspects as well as enjoying rugby, shooting, pony club and hunting.
Bruce was appointed Head of Industry Development at Quality Meat Scotland in March 2020. Bruce, who was previously one of QMS’ ‘Meat with Integrity’ feature farmers, is originally from a farm in Strathspey. After studying law in university, he returned to agriculture, to help manage an upland beef and sheep unit, focused on pedigree cattle and commercial sheep production. He has also spent eight years with the Cairngorms National Park as the lead on agriculture, including management of biodiversity and sustainability focused projects.
As head of industry development for quality meat Scotland, Bruce leads a team focused on improving the efficiency and sustainability of red meat production across cattle sheep and pigs. The team leads on a variety of research and development projects in areas including genetics, nutrition, animal health and welfare, and data capture. Bruce also led on the development and delivery of the current Monitor Farm Scotland Programme.
Adam is a livestock farmer from Warwickshire, where he farms with his wife Sarah a flock of Easycare sheep and Salers cows with a beef finishing unit. Adam has served as sector chair for Beef & Lamb at AHDB. He is a Trustee of the Henry Plumb foundation helping the next generation of farmers and served as NFU Vice President.
Richard was born on a Dairy Farm in Herefordshire, his father had the Pedigree Churchwell herd, and was quite well known and had won prizes at several Major shows, They also sold many Pedigree Holsteins to Ireland for AI. He is an ex Young Farmer and after leaving agriculture college worked on several local dairy farms before he travelled to Denmark to work on a dairy farm in Arhus. When he returned to the UK he started his sales life with a company called Black & White Sires, which later was bought out by a company called Avoncroft, he is still working within the same role but for CRV Avoncroft (Avoncroft was bought out by CRV a Dutch AI Company). Richard has travelled over most of Europe and the US during his time as a breeding consultant. When he's not selling Bovine Genetics he is the Council Chair, covering all of the UK, for an organisation called Lions Clubs International, which is the largest Volunteer Service organisation, (non political & non religious Group), who have recently been working with NFYFC. Lions are also providing many volunteers to help in the Covid vaccinations programme.
Richard has attended many BCBC conferences over the years and he feels that BCBC can play an important role in promoting good standards of livestock farming, which is important for our customers, the general public. He believes that we need to make sure these standards are explained to our customers and for British Agriculture to become a standard to be trusted.
Andrew grew up on a small family farm in the Derbyshire Dales where they farmed a small pedigree beef herd. He attended Reaseheath College eventually completing an FdSc in agriculture whilst working within the industry.
In the following years he worked as a breeding advisor for Cogent breeding during the roll out of genomics within the industry. Working with farmers to maximise genetic improvement and helping them to realise the genetic potential of their stock made this role extremely rewarding. Upon seeing new challenges within the dairy industry regarding labour and wider sustainability, in 2018 Andrew took on the role of sales representative at Lely Center Midlands Ltd. Andrew is passionate about introducing innovative solutions and new systems to farm business aiding them to have improved profitability and sustainability.
John is Hybu Cig Cymru’s Processor and Producer Lead. A native of Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, John has long experience of working in agriculture. Trained as an agricultural economist, served as Industry Information Executive with HCC, and previously worked at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society. Most recently he led the Red Meat Development Programme for HCC, a 5-year strategic initiative aimed at making improvements across the red meat supply chain in Wales.