Interim AHDB Dairy Sector Board Chair appointed

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Rural business specialist Richard Soffe has been appointed as interim chair of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s Dairy Sector Board.

Richard, who has sat on the AHDB Dairy Board since January 2016, will take up his temporary post from 1 April 2020 when Gwyn Jones leaves after completing his second term in office at the end of March.

He will attend the main AHDB Board meetings as an observer and to brief them on dairy matters. He will remain as interim Dairy Chair until a recruitment process has been completed by Defra and ministers have appointed Gwyn’s replacement to the main Board.

Richard said: “I’m looking forward to helping to ensure continuity on the delivery of AHDB Dairy’s business plan during this period of transition.”

Read more about the AHDB Board

Richard Soffe: Richard Soffe is Director of the Rural Business School (RBS) at Duchy & Bicton Colleges, and he is also Chairman and Director of Rural Business Research. In his role as Director at RBS Richard works in partnerships, with the, University of Exeter, Rothamsted Research (North Wyke), University of Plymouth and Duchy & Bicton Colleges. RBS works with 18,000 farmers and rural businesses across SW England.

He studied Agriculture at Seale Hayne, University of Plymouth and gained a Masters Degree in Management and Marketing at Cranfield University. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies England Wales and Scotland.Richard is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at University of Exeter and works with staff in the Centre for Rural Research both on combined research projects and the Farm Business Survey (FBS) results.

He joined the Leadership for the 21st Century Programme; Harvard University, USA and has been invited back to guest lecture at Harvard. Richard has edited the standard work in Agriculture for students, namely The Agricultural Notebook and recently co-authored ‘Agriculture’ from Oxford University press.2016. He is Course Director for the prestigious ‘International Rural Leadership programme’ for the Worshipful Company of Farmers and was formerly the Director of Professional Development at the University of Plymouth.

As interim Sector Chair, Richard Soffe will receive non-pensionable pro-rata remuneration of £307.69 per day, based on a minimum time commitment of one day a week for three months from 1 April.