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The NIAB Trust

Mr Jeremy Lewis

Jeremy Lewis B.SC(Econ) F.C.A. (ret'd) (Chair)

Jeremy was Chairman of the NIAB Board from 2012 to 2016.

He has a mixed portfolio of non executive positions in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors together with his own rural business consultancy. He is a governor of Tudor Hall School and has recently been elected Chair of Governors at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester. He is also associated with a number of charitable organisations in the UK, including the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI).

Until 2006 he was a partner in the accounting firm Grant Thornton as Head of Agriculture and managing the firm’s business in Oxfordshire. Latterly he was a non executive director of the firm's UK and International Governance Boards. He farms Dexter cattle in Oxfordshire. 

Andrew Slack

Andrew recently retired as Partner, Head of Land and Rural Business at Grant Thornton, after thirty years of service. Prior to that he worked for the Farm Management Division of the Nickerson Group. He has a degree in Agriculture from Nottingham University and is a Chartered Accountant. Andrew is a member of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and the NFU and has served on the Taxation Committees for both organisations. He is a member of the Farmers Club and the Worshipful Company of Farmers. Hobbies include golf, gardening, shooting and fly fishing. 

Dr Charles Looker

Currently farming in Cambridgeshire, Charles graduated in Agricultural Science and spent eight years doing postgraduate and postdoctoral research on pulse crops, followed by twelve years helping to bring new varieties of combinable crops to the market. He has also worked for fifteen years in Information Technology, bringing him into contact with a range of business areas including arable farming, retail, tax accountancy and the police. One of his other interests is planning and land use which developed from his experience as a District Councillor and as Chairman of his local Civic Society. His relationship with NIAB began with a number of student vacation jobs and continued through his work on crop varieties; he retains and uses his Crop Inspector’s Licence. 

Mr Richard Butler

Mr Richard Butler

Richard joined the family business of R J Butler & Son in 1975 and has been the Senior Partner since 1983; farming 1700 acres near Marlborough, Wiltshire. Farm enterprises include a 300 cow Holstein dairy herd, a Beef Cattle fattening unit, and an extensive arable combine crop enterprise specialising in wheat grown for seed and milling as well as malting barley production. Other combine crops grown include oats, white beans and rapeseed.

In 1987 Richard founded a contract farming company which now farms four additional farms in Wiltshire for local landowners totalling over 2000 acres principally in arable cropping. East Wick Farm won the 2008 Crown Estate Rural Business award for farming and conservation which was presented at Lancaster House, London in July of that year.

Richard has held a number of offices and Directorships; most recently Chairman of The Farmers Club (2016); Chairman of the Voluntary Initiative (Pesticides) (2011-17); and Director of Pewsey Downs Farmer Group (2018).

Richard is married with three children and six grandchildren. His hobbies include tennis and shooting.

Mr John Elliot

Mr John Elliot

John Elliot, qualified as a Chartered Accountant in Oxford before attending agricultural college and returning to manage the family and estate business. He holds a number of non-executive roles.

Dr Helen Ferrier

Dr Helen Ferrier

Dr Helen Ferrier leads the National Farmers’ Union’s policy work on agricultural science and research, biotechnology, data and food safety, covering all sectors of farming. Based at NFU HQ in Warwickshire, she leads a policy team covering plant health and pesticides, farm safety, skills and training, transport, employment and better regulation.

Helen is Chair of the Agrimetrics Advisory Board and is a member of several other advisory panels and boards in the agricultural R&D community. Before joining the NFU in 2004, Helen was a research scientist at Imperial College London. She has an academic background in environmental science and technology.


Richard Pemberton MSc MRICS

Richard is the Managing Director of Trumpington Farm Company; a 3200 ha arable farming business in Cambridgeshire. He has a diploma in Rural Estate Management from the RAU Cirencester and an MSc in Agri-Business Management from Wye College, University of London. He was Associate Director Savills until 2007 when he left to take up his present position. Richard has held the office of Chairman of Cambs and Beds Committee Country Land & Business Association (2013-2015) and Chairman of Cambridgeshire Committee Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (2011-2014). He is the Proposed High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire for 2017. Richard’s interests include farmland conservation, woodland creation and renewable energy (wind, solar and biomass). He is married with three children.