Mike is a professor in livestock informatics at Scotlands Rural College based in Edinburgh. He manages a team of about 30 consisting Edinburgh Genetic Evaluation Services (EGENES) and the Animal Breeding and Genomics team. Mike is interested in new breeding tools for farmed livestock and the new developments in phenotyping that allows changes for new and novel traits such as product quality, health and efficiency. Mostly he enjoys working with industry in making it all work and deliver benefits right now.
Born and raised in Lancaster, Laurence grew up on the family dairy farm, home to the renowned Carrlox Herd. Having ceased milk production, Laurence assisted his father in running the family import/export business, helping to introduce many of the first Canadian Holsteins into the UK. Upon graduating University with a BA Hons in Business Studies, Laurence pursued a successful career in the retail sector, a role encompassing both sales and management functions.
Laurence returned to agriculture in 2009, bringing with him 12 years of retail experience. This experience has guided Laurence while in his last role as Genetics Business Manager for NMR, a position which demanded customer focus and strong industry partnerships. Laurence has very recently embarked on a new career with the robotics company, Lely. In 2013 Laurence decided to embark on an MBA in Leadership and Sustainability, which is something he has been keen to pursue for a long time. Laurence believes that knowledge development and transfer are key to what he sees as a successful future for both the dairy industry and the wider agricultural economy.
Clive is the son of a herdsman so has been around cattle all his life but decided milking cows wasn’t for him and instead focused on the beef sector. He was very active in YFC and was County Chairman for Shropshire. He enjoyed considerable success in the stock-judging arena and this had an effect on his career path. Having spent nearly 20 years working for 2 livestock marketing co-operatives he has a good understanding of livestock production and the whole red meat supply chain in the UK. Prior to joining EBLEX in 2003 (now AHDB Beef & Lamb) he was project development & marketing manager for Meadow Quality Livestock overseeing several development projects as well as being the key account manager for Dovecote Park, supplying Angus and Hereford cattle for Waitrose. A lot of his time was also focused on the development of the beef & sheep industry through supply chain management together with improvements in breeding & feeding. His current role as Head of Knowledge Exchange for AHDB Beef & Lamb is one of industry relations and development, liaising with all relevant stakeholders, including primary producers, either directly or through other regional staff, as well as overseeing delivery of the Knowledge Transfer and Knowledge Exchange activity. The Cattle Breeders Conference is a key date in the calendar as it is a great opportunity to meet so many people actively involved in all parts of the beef sector.
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 have recently purchased a small holding in the Peak District, she continues her farm secretarial duties as well as running the BCBC office.
Henry is Senior Data Analyst with NBDC, having been with Holstein UK and its subsidiaries since 2008. With a family pedigree of North Lancashire dairy farmers, he was raised on a small commercial dairy and sheep farm on the western slopes of the Pennines (where “it was always advantageous to grow webbed feet!”). After gaining a BSc in Agriculture from Nottingham, he worked for a period on a mixed arable and livestock prairie farm in Saskatchewan, with a leading Canadian breeder of Landrace pigs.
On returning to the UK he worked with the MLC on the development of beef enterprise financial models, subsequently moving to the Milk Marketing Board in Surrey. Initially within the “Breeding Research / Statistics” department with Gordon Swanson and the late Peter Wood (of Lactation Curve fame). Later transferring to the MMB’s National Milk Records division, where he undertook a variety of roles in IT, staff training and technical support. Henry is a life member of the British Society of Animal Science and works with the ICAR Animal Identification sub-committee on the development of international standards for animal id and eartag testing.
Outside of agriculture he is a Trustee Director of the MMB staff pension fund. He is a long term motor sports enthusiast with a string of rally co-driving trophies to his name. He now lives “on the dry side of the Pennines” in North Yorkshire with a wife and three daughters. Henry first attended a BCBC conference in 2008 and has been an enthusiastic supporter ever since. “For me, BCBC is a fantastic way to keep in touch with practical farmers, trends in technical developments and both current and former colleagues”.
Anya graduated from Newcastle University in 1987 and then entered the animal feed industry on completing her MSc in Animal Nutrition at Aberdeen University. She worked as a nutritionist and on-farm technical advisor for a variety of animal feed companies throughout Scotland until 2002 when she progressed into managing a large animal feed manufacturing and distribution operation in north-west England. Since 2006 Anya has worked at Myerscough College near Preston in Lancashire.
She lectures and researches mainly in livestock science and agricultural business subjects at degree level. Since attending her first BCBC conference in 2008 with a group of students, she has been an enthusiastic supporter of the unique format of bringing researchers, industry specialists and practical farmers who inspire and motivate the future generation in all aspects of the cattle industry.
Lucy is a Harper Adams University Animal Science Honours graduate, a Trehane & Dartington Nuffield Scholar and graduate of the Institute of Agricultural Management Leadership Development course. She has spent the past 19 and a half years working within the Dairy industry leading the Research, Genetic, Genomic Evaluation & Business Products & Services developments for Holstein UK and recently embarked on an exciting new venture with her own consultancy company Priestcliffe Consulting Ltd. Through her career Lucy has been lucky enough to be appointed Chairman of the British Cattle Breeders Club and more recently completed the coveted Institute of Agricultural Management; Leadership Development Course. Knowledge transfer of science, genetics and breeding whilst applying these into innovative products and services to benefit farm businesses is her lifelong passion. Lucy’s new business is fully committed to driving these innovations forward within the companies she works with such as National Milk Records.
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 beef suckler herd and Lleyn sheep flock with a mixed arable and conservation grazing enterprise. He has worked in a variety of roles at Easton (now Easton and Otley) 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 and Otley.
He is currently Chairman of Norfolk Proficiency Test Committee and Vice-Chairman of Norfolk Holstein Club. Charlie was also a former NFU branch Chairman. His other interests include CAMRA, football, 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.
Tim grew up on a 400 hectare sheep and beef farm on the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand. His interest in agriculture led him to study animal science and genetics. He then worked for the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation, before completing a PhD study on the economics of genetic improvement programmes while working as a consultant for AbacusBio. Tim has a wealth of experience in agriculture built over 15 years, with specifics skills in genetics, production system economics, strategy and investment, and technology. Tim has combined this science and business expertise to deliver solutions all around the globe including in New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, UK, Canada, Brazil, China, Ecuador, Poland. Tim moved from the companies’ office in Dunedin, New Zealand to set up AbacusBio in Edinburgh. He is passionate about delivering solutions and tools to agriculture and is keen to work with BCBC to create impact in the UK cattle sector, and interact with scientists and farmers through the BCBC forum.
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.
Gary gained his PhD from University of Liverpool in 1994 and has 20 years of experience of agricultural genomics, genotyping and R&D implementation gained in the pig and cattle industry with integrated breeding companies (PIC and Genus) and a veterinary pharmaceutical & genetics company (Zoetis). He is currently Business Development Manager for Neogen’s Genomics business in Europe where he is responsible for overseeing and managing business development and customer relationships. He has been in this position since 2011 when Neogen first started operating their Genomics services from their European headquarters in Ayr, Scotland. Gary has been attending BCBC regularly as a delegate since 2011 and is looking forward to being more involved in the club since joining the committee in 2017.
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 joined AHDB Beef & Lamb 2 years ago and is the Knowledge Exchange Manager for the Midlands but also focusses on suckler AI, beef from the dairy herd and beef breeding. Amy has a great passion for transferring the latest research and advancements in cattle fertility and breeding into practical changes on farm. Amy is recently married to Sean who is a farm vet based in Shropshire.
Emma, a Cheshire dairy farmer, has a BSc (Hons) Degree in Agri-Food Marketing and Business Studies from Harper Adams University College. Emma has previously worked at Genus Breeding, Holstein UK and NFU. In 2007, Emma joined Tesco as their Dairy Agricultural Manager, where she was responsible for Tesco's Sustainable Dairy Group and the Tesco Dairy Centre of Excellence. Emma was awarded a Trehane Scholarship to study milk marketing around the world and also has a paper published in the Journal of Dairy Technology about the health properties of milk, in relation to Multiple Sclerosis.
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.
Andy took on a farm business tenancy with his wife Rosemary in 2008 milking 250 cows supplying milk to the Coombe Farm Milk Pool. He completed a further degree, MSc in Organic Agriculture in 2009. Andy and his wife of 25 years Rosemary, have two daughters, one studying at university and the other has just started work. Andy has a real passion for positive cattle welfare demonstration with cow sentience at the core.
Ruari grew up in the Scottish Borders in a farming community, although his family are not farmers. He moved to Lancashire to study Agricultural Livestock Science at Myerscough College. During this time he performed a range of jobs as a livestock contractor, including herdsman, sheep shearer, shepherd, tractor driver and as a researcher at Myerscough after graduating in 2014. This work was later published in the journal Animal, with Ruari as a named author, one of his proudest achievements to date. He then spent some time shepherding in North Yorkshire before moving to the position of Livestock manager at Thoresby Estate in Nottinghamshire. This involved managing a complex livestock business, which complimented the wider 3500ha farming estate. Currently he is employed by ForFarmers in North Cheshire, while studying for an MBA, online, at the University of York. Coming from a non-farming background Ruari has always approached farming as a business and is striving to bring the practices of multinationals, learnt through his masters, into practice in the industry. Working closely with his customers, he hopes to develop robust farming businesses, utilising the latest technology, which are profitable for the long term. He is passionate about cattle breeding, nutrition and encouraging the next generation into agriculture. Ruari also enjoys training sheepdogs and hopes to start his own farming business in the near future with his new wife.
After her first degree in Mathematics, Fern went on to get a Masters in Animal Breeding from the University of Edinburgh. She started her working career as a Data Technician at SRUC and from there moved to the AHDB to the role of Animal Genetics Manager in 2014. During her time at AHDB she has helped roll out genetic evaluations for bovine TB and mastitis, and assists the UK herdbooks to maximise the use of genetic and genomic information. Recent work has focused on lameness, carcase traits and calf survival breeding values for the UK dairy industry as well as developments to AHDB Dairy’s online tool, the Herd Genetic Report.
Melissa comes from a long line of farmers and has been involved in agriculture her whole life. One of 3 daughters she learnt to lead calves for the local Shropshire show at the age of 4 and showing cattle, Hereford cattle in particular, has been a passion ever since. After school she attended Harper Adams University for a year but with the lure of home and travel decided to swap the book work for 8 months travelling/working in Australia on some of the large pedigree Hereford herds over there. On return she was committed to the family farm and our Shraden Herd of Pedigree Herefords which will celebrate its centenary year this year. Along with her younger sister, mum and Dad they opened a farm shop in 2005 selling their own beef, pork and eggs which quickly grew out of the garage. A dedicated farm shop was built at the end of the drive which was further extended to incorporate a café which sells all home cooked meals. The shop is open 7 days a week and employs 4 chefs, 2 butchers and 6 front of house staff. Other events such as weddings and corporate functions are held in the marquee which doubles up in the summer months as a club house for the polo club which they started 2 years ago after putting in a polo pitch and purchasing 14 ponies. To offset the electricity usage they have installed a 100 KW solar system on the roofs of the south facing buildings and have rented out 15 acres for a solar park which directly supplies the village with electricity. Melissa is married to Dan, who has subsequently returned home to the farm and looks after the grain store, the graphic design and their 3 year old son who wants to be a dinosaur farmer when he grows up! As far as her duties go, she mostly looks after the cattle (75 breeding females and followers) and the livestock, help out with the book work, fill in when needed in the shop/café/kitchen and has taken on the marketing of the shop/cattle/polo this year. Melissa has been a regular attendee of BCBC and always finds it an interesting and inspirational event.
Karen was brought up on a small, family-run farm in mid-Devon and has always been incredibly passionate about agriculture and the countryside. Karen always helped on the farm and worked part-time at a local veterinary practice for over ten years which provided a good grounding in understanding the challenges that can face livestock producers. She gained a BSc. (Hons) in Animal Science from University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington and stayed on to study a PhD investigating the ‘fatty acid uptake in the ruminant ovary and pre-implantation embryo’. From Nottingham, she worked as a Research and Development Manager for DairyCo (now AHDB Dairy). In November 2011, she was appointed National Ruminant Technical Manager for BOCM PAULS, now ForFarmers. Throughout her time at ForFarmers, Karen enjoyed a variety of roles latterly as Technical Specialist for the SW Team. Karen began an exciting opportunity working for Crediton Milling Company as a Ruminant Nutritionist in July 2018 where she looks forward to making a long-term, positive impact on our industry. Karen thoroughly enjoys being part of the Club and finds that the conference provides a fantastic forum for relevant and factual debate and information for all cattle producers and industry alike, as well as providing a brilliant networking opportunity.