Council Members

Here you will find details of the Oxford Farming Conference directors and honorary advisors.

Our council brings together people with different experience and backgrounds, and sometimes divergent opinions, but with shared goals.

About the OFC

Emily Norton (Chair 2022-23) (Norfolk)

Term: 2021-2023

Emily Norton

Emily heads up the Savills UK Limited Rural Research team, guiding the creation of insight and analysis into rural policy, data and benchmarking for Savills and its clients across the U.K. She consults for clients and government on rural policy and corporate strategy, with a particular focus on rural asset investment and strategic sustainability and climate response.

Emily is a director of the Oxford Farming Conference for 2021-2023 and a Nuffield Scholar 2018.

Liz Bowles (Devon)

Term: 2021-2023

Liz Bowles

Liz Bowles is a successful Devon pedigree sheep farmer and was recently named one of the most influential people on social media for regenerative agriculture and sheep farming. A Nuffield Scholar, she has worked for ADAS and currently works for the Soil Association as Associate Director Farming and Land Use.

Having been involved with Innovative Farmers since 2013, Liz is familiar with grass roots innovation. She is Director of the Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit (FCCT) and an advisor to the online farming platform Hectare. 

A seasoned communicator and public speaker, Liz has spoken at the Three Counties Agricultural Conference alongside Minette Batters and Neil Parish, at the January 2019 Westminster Forum on the future of farming and in support of Natalie Bennet’s report “Rich Earth” at the EU Parliament.

Alison Capper (Worcestershire)

2023 - 2025

Ali Capper

In Partnership at Stocks Farm, Suckley, Worcestershire UK with her husband Richard and his father Mark, the Cappers specialise in growing hops and apples. They farm dessert & cider apples and hops. www.stocksfarm.net

Ali’s former career was in Advertising & Marketing. Today, in addition to numerous roles at the farm, her work includes membership of the Boards of Wye Fruit, the British Hop Association, the Norton Cider Growers Association and as Chairman of the UK’s NFU's National Horticulture & Potatoes Board, British Apples & Pears and Wye Hops. Ali is a Nuffield Scholar and a non-executive Director of NFU Mutual.

Will Evans (Bangor on Dee)

Term: 2022-2024

Will

Will is a beef and arable farmer from Bangor on Dee, in North East Wales.

He produces and hosts the award-winning podcast Rock & Roll Farming, which he started in March 2017 with the aim of showcasing agriculture and the people involved to the wider public. The podcast has now been downloaded over a million times in over a hundred different countries.

He is the co-founder and community manager of eatfarmnow.com, the fast-growing digital hub that brings together farming and food related content, including podcasts, videos, and blogs, from all around the World.

Will is a proud husband and Father of four rowdy little girls, and is at his happiest with them on the family farm.

Navaratnam Partheeban (Theeb) (South East)

2023-2025

Theeb

Navaratnam (Theeb) is a farm vet working in the South East. His working roles have varied from working in clinical practice, university higher education, the pharmaceutical sector and in the global animal health industry. This has allowed him to study and conduct research in a number of countries around the world including the US, China and South Africa.

He was presented as an Oxford Farming Conference Emerging Leader in 2020 and is currently co-leading a research team who have been awarded an Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Mind Matters Grant. Theeb is also working towards completing a Nuffield Farming Scholarship sponsored by McDonalds UK and Ireland.

His other roles include being the co-founder of the British Veterinary Ethnicity and Diversity Society (BVEDS) while also being a trustee for the Country Trust and formerly a trustee of St Werburghs Inner City Farm. He is passionate about supporting the agricultural and veterinary sectors and is involved in a number of projects and groups within these areas such as the Land Workers Alliance (LWA), TIAH working group and RCVS DIG.

Christopher Price

2022 - 2024

Christopher

Christopher is Chief Executive of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST).   He was previously Director of Policy and Advice at the CLA.

Having worked in agricultural and environmental policy generally for many years, both nationally and at EU level, Christopher is particularly keen on promoting the commercial and environmental benefits of adopting more sustainable, regenerative approaches to farming,

Christopher is also Chair of the Wildlife and Countryside Link Agriculture Group and Vice Chair of the Uplands Alliance.

Marion Regan (Kent)

Term: 2021-3

Marion

Marion Regan studied Botany before joining the family farming business, Hugh Lowe Farms Ltd, which she now owns and runs with her husband Jon. Established in Kent, in 1893, the business grows over 6000 tonnes of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries in substrate under tunnels and glass. It focuses on its customers’ needs for quality, season extension, provenance, environmental sustainability and ethical employment. 

In 2012 Marion and Jon joined forces with Kate and Stewart Sutherland to set up Burlington Berries Pty Ltd, to produce berries in Tasmania.

Marion is a Director (and former Chairman) of Berry Gardens, the UK berry marketing cooperative, and of the agricultural robotics start up, Dogtooth Technologies Ltd. She has served as a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Soft Fruit Chair of the UK Horticulture Development Board and Trustee of the East Malling Trust for Horticultural Research. She was awarded an MBE for services to the fruit industry in 2014.

Marion is particularly interested in the rapid adoption of new technology by commercial horticulture, particularly to meet sustainability goals.  She is also focusing on finding the best routes to market for producers of all sizes, in a rapidly changing marketplace. 

 

Jenna Ross (Aberdeenshire)

Term: 2022-2024

Jenna

Dr Jenna Ross is a farmer’s daughter from Aberdeenshire with a passion for driving innovation in agriculture. She holds a PhD in Environmental Science, as well as an MBA, and has over 10-years of international experience covering North America, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Jenna currently leads international development for UK Government funded Agri-Tech centre, Crop Health and Protection (CHAP).

Jenna has completed a Nuffield Farming Scholarship, winning the HSBC Silver Salver in 2020, and is now the current Chair of Nuffield Scotland. She has received an array of award from The Farmers Club, Royal Northern Agricultural Society, Helping it Happen, Aberdeen Business School, Chartered Management Institute, LANTRA, CARAS and was selected as one of the top 5 MBA graduates in the world by Association of MBA’s.

She is highly published, and is an active STEM ambassador, LANTRA industry champion, Chartered Manager and Fellow of Chartered Management Institute, Associate of CARAS (ARAgS), founding board member of the Africa Scotland Business Network and Honorary Fellow of the University of Aberdeen (UK).

Geoff Sansome (Worcestershire)

2023-2025

Geoff

Geoff Sansome is Head of Agriculture at Natural England, the government's adviser for the natural environment. An agricultural graduate, he worked for ADAS for 20 years, originally as an Agronomist, then leading Agricultural Transformation programmes in the Former Soviet Union and the Balkans. He then moved to the Defra Rural Development Service and as a 2004 Nuffield Scholar, studied Rural Development approaches in Europe and North America.

He brings with him 40 years’ experience of helping farmers and agriculture adapt to change, at individual, national and international levels. He is a partner in the family farm in Worcestershire; is a Farming Community Network Volunteer and a Trustee of a Worcestershire based Rural Training charity working with learning disabilities and mental health issues.

Ben Taylor-Davies

Term: 2022-2024

Ben

Ben is a bioagriecologist advisor and farmer specialising in linking farming, food production, the environment, ecology and carbon sequestration.

Ben works to showcase his own farm in Ross-on-Wye located in an AOB and SSSI that regenerative farming can give the next generation a better farm, environment and planet.

Ben is a 2016 Nuffield Farming Scholar, where he gained experience in all aspects of regenerative farming from around the globe when researching the subject of blackgrass.

David Turner - Honorary Treasurer (East Anglia)

David Turner

David is a principal in David Turner & Co - a firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers which specialises in landed estates and agriculture. Prior to the formation of David Turner & Co, David was a director with Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP. In addition to the compliance services offered by David Turner & Co he has wide-ranging experience in handling one-off assignments – including work for the major banks, government institutions and PLCs. David is a governor at Bishop Burton College in Beverley East Yorkshire, where he is also the chair of the audit committee. He has a small farm in East Anglia which he operates via a manager contractor agreement.