Suffolks appoint first chief executive

Lewis McClinton, of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, is the new chief executive of the Suffolk Sheep Society.

As a result the Society’s office is to be moved in early October to premises at Ballymena Livestock Market, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Dr McClinton recently worked as agricultural manager for the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland where he is a recognised expert on “Ruminant Nutrition and Carcass Quality in Sheep”, and has been a regular speaker at conferences and seminars on the subject. 

He completed an Agriculture Degree at Queen’s University Belfast and studied for his PhD at the Agricultural Research Institute for Northern Ireland, Hillsborough, before going on to employment with Department of Agriculture and Rural Development as Sheep Technologist, and during that time was responsible for completing a five year trial on behalf of the Suffolk Sheep Society.

Welcoming the appointment, Society chairman, Michael Weaver, says: We are delighted; Lewis brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Society from a wide variety of perspectives. He also retains hands on experience running his own commercial flock.”

Positive future

Speaking on his appointment Lewis said, “The Suffolk sheep breed has a long history and my main objective is to ensure a positive future, working with breeders and council to increase market share. The Suffolk breed is a broad church and offers a variety of genetics to an ever discerning customer.”


He continued: “It is a time of change for the Society in many ways, not least in terms of personnel and location. With the spiralling costs of production and the increasing age profile of farmers we compete for a diminishing market that requires lower labour input sheep.  I look forward to representing all Suffolk sheep breeders in the challenges that lie ahead.”

No stranger to the benefits of performance recording Dr McClinton was responsible for improving the Greenmount recorded Blackface flock as part of Blackface Elite. He also worked three years on the delivery of the Beef Quality Initiative as well as two years as a red meat supply chain adviser.

Lewis recognises the need to focus on the needs of commercial sheep farmers. He is a strong advocate of using modern breeding technology and good science.  To take the breed further breeders must focus on the issues raised by our customers, build on existing strengths and target issues of concern.