New appointments bolster AHDB Beef & Lamb sector board

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has appointed four new Beef & Lamb sector board members to help steer the organisation’s work to create a more competitive beef and lamb supply chain

Conor Colgan, James Shouler and Richard Sparey, all of whom are beef or sheep producers, and Steve Thompson, who works in the processing sector, will take up their positions on 1 April 2018.

Steve is a Business Unit director for ABP and is responsible for the company’s flagship processing facility in Ellesmere, Shropshire. Steve comes from a farming background and has a thorough understanding of the farm-to-fork process following 30 years working in the food and agricultural industries.

Conor Colgan farms pedigree Salers and combinable crops in a family partnership spanning 830 acres in Northumberland. He has pioneered the use of Lean management principles in farming and is installing a LEADER-funded precision beef farming facility for the purposes of breed improvement, grassland management and feeding trials.

James Shouler is a fourth-generation farmer running a 350-acre mixed farm in Oxfordshire. He has a pedigree Simmental herd of 50 cows, which calve in both spring and autumn, and sells pedigree breeding bulls and replacement heifers into commercial farms.

Richard Sparey is a third-generation farmer who farms in partnership with his brother and mother in Herefordshire. He runs lowland and upland flocks of breeding ewes and aims to produce all of his lambs off forage. This year he will be lambing 1,800 ewes and also runs 120 suckler cows, with an emphasis on genetics and EBVs for both sheep and beef.

Speaking about the appointments, Laura Ryan, Sector Strategy Director for AHDB Beef & Lamb, said: “The Beef & Lamb sector board plays a vital role in shaping AHDB’s future activity and ensures that we are delivering against our strategy for the benefit of the industry.

“I am confident that our new board members will provide the industry knowledge and the direction required to drive our work forward.

“Thank you to Andy Foot, Howard Bates, Mark Allen and Paul Westaway, all of whom will be stepping down at the end of this month following the completion of their terms.”

For a full list of the current members of the AHDB Beef & Lamb sector board, visit



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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.