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

Barbara Bray (Co-Chair) (Manchester)

Term: 2020-2022

Barbara Bray

Barbara is a food safety consultant and registered nutritionist driving and delivering food safety in food supply chains and developing nutrition strategy for businesses.

With a passion for educating people about food and nutrition, Barbara is a trustee for International Affairs with the Nutrition Society and sits on the food and nutrition committee for the Institute of Food Science and Technology.

A professional speaker and 2017 Nuffield Farming Scholar, Barbara speaks at food and agriculture events and gave a TEDx talk at the University of Chester in February 2020. She was awarded an MBE in 2019 for services to food and nutrition.

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.

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.

Tom Levitt (Cheshire)

Term: 2020-2022

Tom Levitt

Tom Levitt is a journalist for the Guardian and Farmers Guardian and has an MSc in Food Policy from City University.

He was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 2017 to research the future of dairy. He is also on the advisory board for Foodsource, an initiative run by the Food Climate Research Network (FCRN) at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute. 

He was formerly an associate researcher for the RSA’s Food, Farming and Countryside Commission.

Sarah Mukherjee (Co-Chair)

Term: 2020-2022

Sarah

Sarah Mukherjee is Chief Executive of IEMA, the membership organisation for environment and sustainability professionals. She read law at university and worked in PR and consultancy at the House of Commons before becoming a BBC Environment correspondent on TV and radio. More recently she was Director of Environment at Water UK and Chief Executive of the Crop Protection Association.

She brings with her valuable experience working with people in different parts of the industry; farmers, regulators, politicians and academics, as well as 20 years’ experience as an award-winning national and international journalist. She sits on the National Food Strategy Advisory Panel, and is a governor of Harper Adams University

Emily Norton (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.

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).

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.

REGISTER FOR OUR NEXT BITESIZE - 4 November 2021 - Resilient Leadership

Good leadership can influence a business, its people, and the way it is perceived by the industry. It can define the direction, inspire a vision and create a positive culture for all involved. But what does good leadership look like and how has it changed over the years? What skills and experience do leaders need to be resilient now and in the future, in particular during this turbulent time within agriculture.What are the qualities of a good leader? During our final Bitesize of 2021, we partner with the Global Farmer Network to hear from three leaders from different parts of the world,

12pm to 1pm

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