Jane King

The new chief executive of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has been confirmed as Farmers Weekly’s former editor Jane King.

Ms King will take up her position at the Stoneleigh-based levy board on 1 February.

She is replacing Tom Taylor, who left the organisation at the end of November 2014.

Mick Sloyan, a senior director at AHDB, will remain as acting chief executive until Ms King takes up her post.

AHDB chairman Sir Peter Kendall, said: “Jane has enormous knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for our industry and the board and I are delighted to welcome her to AHDB. 

“Her communication skills and experience of both repositioning and leading a well-known agricultural service brand through a period of change means she will be able to lead AHDB through an important period as it works towards becoming a centre of excellence for the UK industry.”

Sir Peter has previously promised a shake-up in the way the AHDB operates.

A review is planned for early this year that aims to improve the way levypayers’ money is spent so that it enhances farm competitiveness.

See also: Kendall outlines AHDB vision for farming

Ms King, who was Farmers Weekly editor from 2005 until the end of 2014, said she was excited and privileged to be leading the AHDB through the next stage of its development.

“UK agriculture is at a turning point and I believe it has enormous potential,” she said.  

“The AHDB is an organisation with phenomenal talent and resources supporting farmers, growers and the wider supply chain.  I’m really looking forward to driving AHDB forward with the team and the wider industry.”