AHDB Board

The AHDB Board consists of nine members - the chairs for each of the six sector advisory boards and three independent members - and the Chair. Their appointments are for varying periods of up to four years. Selection and appointment of the members of the board is carried out by Defra under the rules of the Office for the Commissioner of Public Appointments (OCPA).

The members of the AHDB Board are:


Sir Peter Kendall

Independent members:

Professor Ian Crute CBE

Will Lifford

George Lyon

Industry members:

Sophie Churchill OBE, also chairs the Potato sector board

Gwyn Jones, also chairs the Dairy sector board

Adam Quinney, also chairs the Beef & Lamb sector board

Gary Taylor MBE, also chairs the Horticulture sector board

Paul Temple, also chairs the Cereals & Oilseeds sector board

Mike Sheldon, also chairs the Pork sector board

Recent Summary Board minutes


Peter KendallSir Peter Kendall, Chair

Peter Kendall is a fifth generation arable farmer from Eyeworth in East Bedfordshire who farms cereals in partnership with his brother Richard and mother. Peter took a degree in Agricultural Economics at Nottingham University before returning to what was a traditional mixed farm in 1984. The farm today is a specialist arable unit that undertakes contract farming for a number of local farmers, cropping in total 2300 hectares.

President of the NFU for 8 years, his overriding passion has been to change the image of farming from a problematic old fashioned industry of the past, to one that is innovative, exciting and central to the big global challenges so clearly depicted by the UK Government’s Foresight Report on the Future of Food and Farming.

In April 2014, Peter was appointed Chairman of AHDB an organisation which exists to provide farmers and growers with the tools to grow UK farming. Following the EU Referendum in June 2016, UK agriculture will be facing a period of unprecedented change requiring the industry to face up to more international competition, lower financial support and greater need to focus on the customer. In this environment the work of AHDB will be more important than ever be that securing and developing new markets or ensuring we have the best technical tools to compete in international markets.

Peter received a Knighthood for his services to the agricultural industry in England and Wales in the Queen’s 2015 New Year’s Honours.

Ian Crute picture

Professor Ian Crute CBE, Independent

Professor Ian Crute has had an involvement in crop research since the early 1970s and was until recently the AHDB’s Chief Scientist. His primary expertise is in plant pathology and genetics with a particular interest in the sustainability of agricultural systems. He is a former president of the British Society for Plant Pathology.

Prior to joining AHDB in 2009 Ian was Institute Director and Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research for 10 years. This followed 25 years in Horticulture Research International culminating in Directorship of the organisation's laboratory at Wellesbourne. Ian continues to publish in the scientific literature and his research contributions are recorded in over 170 papers. His work has been recognised by several awards including a CBE for services to plant science. Over recent years he has contributed to the production of several influential publications concerning science strategy and the future direction of agriculture including the Royal Society’s “Reaping the Benefits” report; the Foresight report on “Global Future of Food and Farming” and the government’s “UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies”.

Ian serves on several Boards and Committees connected with science and innovation in the agri-food industry including: the Agri-Food Technology Council; the Teagasc International Science Advisory Board; and the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment. Ian is also a Trustee of the John Innes Foundation and the East Malling Trust.

Sophie Churchill imageSophie Churchill OBE, (also chairs Potato sector board)

Sophie Churchill is an experienced leader and non-executive. She is president of the Royal Forestry Society and was Chief Executive of The National Forest Company 2006 - 2014. She is the Founder of The Corpse Project, exploring better ways with the body after death. She also chairs TREE AID, which uses trees to help resilience to poverty and climate change in the drylands of Africa.

Sophie was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to the environment and is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Foresters.



gwynGwyn Jones, (also chairs Dairy sector board)

Gwyn Jones was a dairy farmer in West Sussex for over 30 years, running a 350 cow herd, with a 1.5 Megawatt Anaerobic Digester integrated in the farm business. A Nuffield Scholar and Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society of England. Mr Jones also has a long history as an active member of the NFU holding National Office for several years as the NFU National Dairy Board chairman and then Vice President.

Gwyn was born into a farming family in North Wales and trained as an engineer before returning to agriculture in Wales. He ran the beef and sheep units at Moulton College of Agriculture, before moving to West Sussex.

Gwyn is Chairman of RUMA (Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture), Vice Chairman of EPRUMA (The European equivalent of RUMA), Chairman of the COPA-Cogeca Animal Health and Welfare Working Group, an active member of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), member of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) Welfare and Ethics Group, and a member of the University of Surrey School of Veterinary Medicine’s External Liaison and Advisory Committee.

Will Lifford photoWill Lifford, Independent

Will Lifford is a chartered accountant with 25 years' experience as a partner with Grant Thornton. Since 2007 he has held non-executive board and audit committee positions at a number of organisations including the Rural Payments Agency, Entrust (the regulator of the Landfill Communities Fund) and Yorkshire Agricultural Society.  Will is currently chair of Yorkshire Housing and of Martin House Children's Hospice.

Will is chair of the AHDB Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

George Lyon PictureGeorge Lyon, Independent

George Lyon was a member of the Scottish Parliament for Argyll & Bute (1999-2007) and served as deputy finance minister between 2005 and 2007. Prior to embarking on his political career, his long-term involvement with the National Farmers Union (NFU) led to him becoming President of NFU Scotland in 1998.

Elected to the European Parliament in 2009, Mr Lyon quickly became a prominent and influential member of the Agricultural and Rural Affairs committee and played a central role in negotiating key aspects of agreements on both CAP reform and the EU budget. He also worked on issues related to trade policy, with a particular focus on EU relations with the US and the emerging negotiations on TTIP.

George is Chair of the AHDB Remuneration & Nominations Committee, Chair of Meat & Livestock Commercial Services Limited (MLCSL) and a senior consultant for the agri-food practice of Hume Brophy.

Adam Quinney PhotoAdam Quinney, (also chairs Beef & Lamb sector board)

Adam Quinney is a livestock farmer from Sambourne, Warwickshire, where he farms with his wife Sarah a flock of Easycare sheep and Salers cows with a beef finishing unit.

Between 2010 and 2012 Adam served as a sector board member for AHDB Beef & Lamb, and has also held a number of other significant positions in the industry.  He has been a member of the NFU National Livestock Committee, Chairman of the NFU West Midland Livestock Forum, and NFU Vice President.  Adam is a trustee of the Studley College Trust and the Henry Plumb Foundation. He is also a member of the NFU Mutual board.

Gary Taylor pictureGary Taylor MBE, (also chairs the Horticulture sector board)

Gary Taylor has worked in the fresh produce industry for over forty years. He started as a seasonal worker and worked his way up in the industry. He moved to Valley Grown Salads (VGS) in Essex in 2000 where he was instrumental in rebuilding the nursery in 2003 it was in the same year awarded the prestigious salad grower of the year

During the last sixteen years Gary has also been heavily involved in supporting and developing the wider industry. He has served on a number of boards and committees including as Vice Chair of the NFU Board for Horticulture, Chairman of the East Anglian Horticulture Board and Chairman of the Red Tractor Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for horticulture and as a member of the AHDB Horticulture sector board.

Gary was the founder and former Chairman of the PTG (Pepper Technology Group) and former Chairman of the LVGA (Lee Valley Grower Association). He is also interim chair of the Horticulture Innovation Partnership (HIP). In 2013 Gary was awarded an MBE for services to the pepper industry.

Paul Temple picturePaul Temple, (also chairs the Cereals & Oilseeds sector board)

Paul farms 312 hectares in partnership on the East Yorkshire Wolds, producing cereals for seed, oilseed rape, vegetables and beef. The farm has participated in the GM Field Scale Evaluation trials and is part of the Higher Level Stewardship scheme. Paul is a past Vice President for the NFU, chairman of the COPA COGECA Cereals, Oilseeds & Protein Group and founder of the European Biotech Forum andpreviously sat on the National Non Food Crops Centre Board.  Has recently taken up the role of Voluntary Initiative Chairman (VI Chairman)

Mike Sheldon ImageMike Sheldon, (also chairs Pork sector board)

Mike Sheldon is a Director and Proprietor of a wine importing and online retail business. He is a non-executive Director of Assured Food Standards and chairman of its pig sector board. He is chairman of the Real Welfare Steering Group for pigs in the UK and a former chief executive of the National Pig Association.

From 1982 to 1996, Mike worked for pig genetics company, PIC, taking on various roles from Production Manager for the UK to Marketing Manager for Europe, before leaving to set up his own farrow-to-finish pig production company which he ran for 18 years.