27 January 2000
(standing for deputy and vice-president)
MILITANT farmer Richard Haddock is a veteran of farmers protests against falling prices and imports of cut-price foreign food.
Mr Haddock who is in his second year as a delegate to NFU headquarters, is a former county chairman of the Devon branch of the National Farmers Union.
He was born in Church Stretton, Shrewsbury, but brought up on the family dairy farm in South Cadbury, Somerset, before moving to Cornwall aged 11.
He and his wife Caroline farm 800 acres, much of it as a tenant of the National Trust, at Coleton Barton, on the South Devon coast near Kingswear.
About 300 acres of arable land is farmed under contract, producing traditional malting barley, spring barley, peas, wheat, and oats in rotation for their own use.
They stock 350 head of suckler cows using modern Angus bulls from their pedigree herd with some of the stock finished and the rest sold as stores.
The farm also has a small outdoor pig operation. They provide home-produced Angus beef, sausages and bacon for local hotels and their own bed and breakfast.
After leaving school, Mr Haddock served an apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery at Camborne Technical College and then at Mount Wellington tin mine.
He then worked on a succession of civil engineering projects including the Dinorwic and Littlebrooke Power Stations and the Thames Barrier.
With the money saved during this period, he set up a property development business in Cornwall.
The business was bought out in 1988 by a major blue chip company, leaving him free to build and develop his farming operation.
In 1989 he sold the farm in Cornwall and moved to South Devon to take over a derelict National Trust farm, which he rebuilt and now farms on a 52-year lease.
Mr Haddock is an enthusiastic proponent of farmer-controlled marketing. He is a director of a company which adds value by processing forequarter beef.