Independent Grassland and Forage Specialist
Between 1987 and 2009 – IGER/IBERS – Ten years as a lead officer for sheep, beef and environmental management systems at IGER Grassland Development Centre.
In 2009 he was employed across the UK and Sweden by the Red Meata Levy bodies, Farming Connect, AHDB and various Agencies, Supply chain and primary producers.
In 2002 he was a Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales Scholar, studying technology transfer methods and adult learning techniques in New Zealand and Australia.
In 2014 he was awarded Associate member of Royal Agricultural Societies (ARAgS) for distinguished service for Grassland and Technology Exchange.
He has been the Secretary of the Welsh Federation of Grassland Societies for the last 14 years. He was a named author on over 60 scientific publications.
Independent Soil and Grassland Specialist
Chris has been advising individuals and farmer groups on soil and grassland management for almost twenty years. Originally he trained as a soil scientist, his post graduate research focusing on soil water and nutrient dynamics under different cultivation systems. He then worked for IBERS, firstly as a grassland scientist and then as part of the extension team. He then spent three years as technical extension officer with DairyCo before setting out on his own in 2012.
I’m a bit of a numbers man, admits Chris. Without some key performance data its impossible to take a business forward, so I’m always trying to encourage farmers to get to grips with production figures so they know where they have to focus.
I’m also a strong believer in ‘having a go’. Your farm is one big experiment and you should never be afraid to try something – as long as you have proper recording in place to back up what you do.
Area Manager Central England and Wales, Krone
After studying Agriculture with Mechanisation at Harper Adams University, Dan has spent years in the agricultural machinery sector.
For the last two years Dan has been working for KRONE as a territory manager covering the West Midlands and Wales, where he has been influential in advising customers about best practice for making quality cost effective silage.
As a specialist supplier of hay and forage harvesting equipment, KRONE pride themselves in their knowledge of forage production and producing an extensive range of equipment to meet the wide and varying demands of modern silage production.
Dr George Fisher
George is an independent consultant serving the grassland farming community and associated organisations. Following a PhD from Glasgow University in the role of trace elements for disease immunity in sheep, George worked for 10 years at SAC (now SRUC) as a grassland scientist specialising in grazing, ruminant nutrition and forage production. After joining the commercial world in 1998, during which he worked in agronomy, marketing and communications, and business development for fertiliser and feed companies, George was Head of Knowledge Transfer for DairyCo (now AHDB Dairy). George Fisher Consulting was established in January 2011.
Area Manager, Germinal
Helen Mathieu has 30 years of experience working with and alongside livestock farmers, maintaining a focus throughout on the production, management and utilisation of forage.
On leaving college, Helen joined an agricultural merchant, becoming a forage specialist in the dairy heartlands of Cheshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire. She gained her BASIS and FACTS qualifications and became an agronomist with specialisms in grassland and forage agronomy.
Helen joined Germinal GB in 2005 as Area Manager, responsible for sales of agricultural seed in the north of England and north Wales. As well as managing sales through merchant customers, supporting and training sales teams and running on-farm events, her role involves working closely with colleges and the levy boards throughout GB.
Knowledge transfer is a major part of Helen’s role with Germinal GB, to help livestock farmers maximise returns from forage. Whether explaining the benefits of multi-cut silage, the merits of multi-species leys, or the advantages of out-wintering on brassicas, Helen’s mantra is to manage forage as a crop and maintain a focus on optimum utilisation.
Dr Liz Genever
Independent Sheep and Beef Consultant
Liz is in the early stages of setting up her own consultancy business (lizgenever.com). She is working with individual businesses and organisations to provide technical support on beef and sheep systems.
She worked for the UK’s agricultural levy board – Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) – and its predecessors (Meat and Livestock Commission and EBLEX) for thirteen years. She is particularly proud of establishing two large scale projects for the sheep industry – RamCompare (www.ramcompare.com) and Challenge Sheep (http://beefandlamb.ahdb.org.uk/returns/project-farms/challenge-sheep/). Since visiting New Zealand in 2008, she developed tools and techniques to help UK beef and sheep farmers to improve their knowledge of grass and forage management.
She is a partner in her family farm with arable, sheep and beef enterprises in south Lincolnshire.
Rhian is a livestock editor at Farmers Weekly. A beef and sheep farmer’s daughter from South Wales she now lives in Shropshire on a dairy farm.
She joined Farmers Weekly in 2012 after qualifying from Cardiff University with a PG Diploma in Newspaper Journalism.