GRAZE: a grass management – Speakers

Andrea and Charley Walker

Charley and Andrea Walker have an organic beef and sheep enterprise that are entirely self-sufficient in feed, they are also Farmers Weekly Awards 2019 Grasslands Farmers of the year.

Having taken inspiration from the Kiwis following a stint working in New Zealand, they have brought the “simplistic” mentality of red meat production back to Scotland, creating a winning formula on their 254ha tenancy in the Scottish Borders.


Rhidian Jones

Rhidian Jones is an independent livestock and grassland consultant with RJ Livestock Systems Ltd and also a partner in the 5Agri group. He works with both individual and groups of farmers throughout the UK to improve productivity, efficiency and profitability by matching systems to resources and making more use of grass and forage. He recognises that every farm is different and what might be appropriate for one farm may not work on another. Increasingly his work also looks at the environmental impact of agriculture, its carbon footprint and finding ways to both reduce a farm’s environmental impact while also improving profitability.


Sheila Cooke

Sheila is an educator and facilitator who gives farmers the skills and knowledge needed to regenerate Earth, whilst attaining quality of life for themselves and their families.

As hub leader for 3LM, Land and Livestock Management for Life, and an Accredited Field Professional with the Savory Institute, Sheila is:

  • Accelerating the adoption of Holistic Management throughout the UK and Ireland.
  • A contributor to the development of training materials by Savory Institute.
  • Co-developing the Land to Market and Ecological Outcome Verification programmes for the UK and Ireland, which enable brands and consumers to know that the meat, wool, dairy and leather they are purchasing were grown on regenerating soils.
  • Developing a network of Learning Hubs, and accredited educators across Europe.

Sheila founded LeGeros International, a provider of facilitation services that enable groups to do their best thinking, as well as facilitation education. She developed and taught a virtual facilitation methodology at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations for three years to support their decentralised work strategy. This programme is still being taught by the Institute of Cultural Affairs.


Emily Grant

Founder of pasture and livestock consultancy Forrit, Emily has worked in knowledge transfer and agri-environment policy and advice.  She is also a sheep farmer, having started as a new entrant over twenty years ago with a PSYBT loan and trailer full of ewes. Forrit works with progressive sheep and beef farmers looking to improve their profitability through efficient, productive livestock and good grazing management.


Michael Blanche

Michael has worked for SAC, QMS and himself as a consultant and/or facilitator.  Only one of these rated him very highly.

He is a first generation farmer and now his main job is mincing about with his 1000 sheep on his tenanted farm in Perthshire. He also manages 500 ewes for his neighbour (he needs to tell you this because he is insecure about his flock size). He did a Nuffield Scholarship in 2010 on how to climb the farming ladder and got really excited about pasture and rotational grazing which he saw as the key to the climb.    He is addicted to subdividing to a point he gets tight chested if he sees a paddock larger than 5 acres.  He hosts a vanity project podcast called The Pasture Pod where interesting guests manage to offset his tragic attempts to be funny. Charley and Andrea were the stars of  Episode 5 and Charley swore in Dutch a lot in Episode 6.

Michael enjoys thinking about grass and talking about grass. He still has 1 wife and 4 children, all of whom think grass is dull.

William Fleming

Graduated from SAC Auchincruive with a HND Agriculture in 1990

Spent next 25 years working on family dairy and sheep farm, aiming for as much production from forage as possible, with a reseeding policy to drive quality grazing and silage

Main areas of interest dairy cows and sheep (both pedigree and commercial)

Live in the Clyde Valley

I’m a typical Scot – own a kilt; drink whisky & eat Haggis..

Christopher Cooke

Recognized for his change management and troubleshooting capabilities, quality assurance, training, coaching, facilitation, mentoring, general and project management abilities, he maintains a dynamic, pioneering, practical and theoretical focus across all aspects of his professional activities.
He is recognised internationally for his specialism in Integral Practice and is a regular key-note speaker. Multi sector change management experience includes: Water, Oil and Gas, Agriculture, Energy, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Local Authorities and Regional Development, Investment Management, Education, The Churches, Spiritual Communities, Politics, Law Enforcement, Anti-terrorism, Military, Industrial, Leadership Development, Sports, Transport, Music, Beauty, Wellness and Wellbeing.

Project led relocation for longer than one year has included S E Asia – Bangkok (2 years), USA – Houston (2 years), Australia – Canberra (18 months), Switzerland – Luzern (7 Years).