Board Member

Dr Helen Ferrier

Helen leads the National Farmers’ Union’s policy and advocacy work on agricultural and horticultural science and research, biotechnology and data, and food safety on behalf of the NFU’s 46,000 farmer and grower member business in England and Wales.

Based at NFU HQ in Warwickshire, she leads a policy team covering farm safety, skills and training, transport and machinery, labour and employment.

Mr Richard Butler

Richard joined the family business of R J Butler & Son in 1975 and has been the senior partner since 1983, farming 1,700 acres near Marlborough, Wiltshire. Farm enterprises include a 300 cow holstein dairy herd, a beef cattle fattening unit, and an extensive arable combine crop enterprise specialising in wheat grown for seed and milling as well as malting barley production. Other combinable crops grown include oats, white beans and rapeseed.

Dr Charles Looker

Currently farming in Cambridgeshire, Charles graduated in agricultural science and spent eight years doing postgraduate and postdoctoral research on pulse crops, followed by 12 years helping to bring new varieties of combinable crops to the market. He has also worked for 15 years in information technology, bringing him into contact with a range of business areas including arable farming, retail, tax accountancy and the police.

Mr Andrew Slack

Andrew recently retired as Partner, Head of Land and Rural Business at Grant Thornton, after thirty years of service. Prior to that he worked for the Farm Management Division of the Nickerson Group. He has a degree in Agriculture from Nottingham University and is a Chartered Accountant. Andrew is a member of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and the NFU and has served on the Taxation Committees for both organisations.

Kathy Fidgeon

Kathy is a chartered accountant and a partner in Fidgeons, a firm of accountants based in the Cotswolds. She is an audit specialist and was a partner at Grant Thornton for more than 20 years before leaving in 2013 to set up a new accountancy practice. Throughout her professional life Kathy has dealt with a wide range of clients, acting for individuals, partnerships, trusts and companies across a broad spectrum of businesses. Her sector specialisms are agriculture, charities/NFP and property.

Jim Godfrey

Elected to the National Institute of Agricultural Botany Trust in November 2022, and a former NIAB Board director from 2012 to 2022, Jim Godfrey OBE is a director of RJ & AE Godfrey, a family farming business in North Lincolnshire with 4,000 ha of arable crops, pig breeding and rearing and a feed mill.

Richard Macdonald

A former Director-General of the NFU Richard was a governor of The Royal Agricultural College (Cirencester), and chairman of Farm Africa. He was also a director of Dairy Crest and an advisor to Moy Park. He is currently deputy chairman of the Environment Agency, a director of Sidai, a social impact business in Kenya, and a strategic advisor to Devenish Nutrition.

Jeremy Lewis

Jeremy was Chairman of the NIAB Board from 2012 to 2016. He has a mixed portfolio of non executive positions in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors together with his own rural business consultancy. He is a governor of Tudor Hall School and has recently been elected Chair of Governors at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester.

Dr Charles Lang

Since graduating from Cambridge University in 1960 Charles has spent most of his career working in the field of computational geometry, computer graphics and computer-aided design (CAD). After returning from two years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965, he founded the CAD Group at the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory before jointly founding Shape Data Ltd in 1974 and Three-Space Ltd in 1986. Both these Cambridge companies specialised in 3D geometric computation and its application. The 3D geometric modellers they developed are used in CAD systems worldwide.


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