The Speakers at today’s Farm Business Daiiry Forum were as follows:-

Baroness Byford, HOST

A very active member of the Upper House since 1996, Baroness Byford has held various offices including Shadow Minister for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and Shadow Minister for Environment and Transport. She has received above average written questions in the house as well as voting well above the average.

Sean Rickard CHAIR

Over 20 years working as a professional economist culminating in the role of Chief Economist and Head of its Economics Group for the National Farmers’ Union, Sean has worked at very senior levels with government and the European Commission. In 1995 he the Economics Group of the Cranfield School of Management as a senior lecturer in business economics and was also appointed Director of the MBA Programme and also Director of MBA Admissions. Today Sean concentrates on his consultancy business; Sean Rickard Ltd. which provides independent economic analysis primarily relating to food and farming.

Nick Green

Farm Operations Director

Lyecross Farm the renowned Somerset farmers and cheese makers Alvis brothers. He is responsible for a team that looks after 1,822 ha carrying three herds of dairy cows totalling 1,200 head plus a beef, pigs and arable operations.

George Dunn

Chief ExecutiveTenant Farmers Association since 1997. As well as Chairman of Trustees the Farming Community Network for 4 years until 2014. He is also a Rural Economic Adviser and an Agricultural Economist

Neil Parish MP

Conservative MP

He is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tiverton and Honiton, elected at the 2010 general election. He had been a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for South West England from 1999-2009.

Prior to beginning his career in politics, Parish managed his family’s farm in Somerset.

Parish was elected to the European Parliament in the 1999 European Parliament election for the South West England region. He was re-elected in 2004 on the top of the Conservatives’ party list.

For his entire career in the European Parliament he was a member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

During his time as Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, it was reported that David Miliband, at the time the Secretary of State for DEFRA, had described Neil Parish as a “Rottweiler” for his dogged persistence.

Huw Irranca-Davies MP

Labour MP for Ogmore Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ogmore since 2002. Having served as Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Northern Ireland Office, the Department for Work and Pensions, and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, he became an Assistant Whip in May 2006. On 29 June 2007, he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, before being promoted to the role of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Meurig Raymond

President NFU

Meurig farms 3,400 acres in Pembrokeshire in partnership with his twin brother, eldest son and nephew. The farm grows 2,200 acres of combinable crops and 300 acres of potatoes. There are 620 dairy cows, with 300 followers. The farm also has 600 head of beef cattle and around 2,500 store lambs. He became a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society in 2000 and was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in January 2005 for his services to agriculture.

Mansel Raymond

Chairman Copa European dairy farmers

Recently re-elected Copa Dairy Chairman, he will continue to represent the dairy interests of the European farm organisation which brings together over 60 farming unions.

Mansel is keen to ensure we have a profitable and sustainable EU dairy sector, finding solutions such as addressing market volatility, better market monitoring and improved milk package implementation.

Gwyn Jones

Board Chair, DairyCo

Gwyn Jones was appointed as DairyCo Chairman in October 2014. As a Nuffield Scholar and Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, Mr Jones has much experience across the agricultural industry and with a long history as an active member of the NFU holding National Office for several years as the NFU National Dairy Board chairman and Vice President, Gwyn has experience with working with many organisations across the agricultural sector including Chairman of RUMA (Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture), Chairman of EPRUMA (The European equivalent of RUMA), an active member of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), Vice Chairman of the COPA-Cogeca Animal Health and Welfare Working Group, member of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) Welfare and Ethics Group, and a member of the University of Surrey School of Veterinary Medicine’s External Liaison and Advisory Committee.

Mark Suthern

Barclays Bank

Recently appointed National Head of Barclays Agriculture. He leads the agricultural team specialists and regional agricultural managers and their respective teams.

A geography graduate from Sheffield Hallam University, he joined Barclays in 1986. His extensive experience includes leading regional teams in the North-East.

In his current role, as head of business banking for the eastern region, he leads 200 business managers in ten areas across the region.

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