New recruit to focus on cereals at AHDB

Friday, 15 February 2019

AHDB has recently welcomed a new recruit, Chris Leslie, who will work with cereal growers across Scotland who want to improve their technical and business practices.

Chris has been appointed as a Knowledge Exchange Manager for the arable sector. He will be part of a small arable team devoted to Scotland, which is led by Senior Knowledge Exchange Manager Claire Hodge. Chris’s focus will largely be on cereals and oilseeds, while Claire will continue to concentrate more on the potato sector.

Claire explains: “Chris and I will be working together very much as a team, but as my expertise has long been in potatoes, it’s great that Chris is so knowledgeable about the cereals sector. He will be able to work closely with those farmers, providing advice and support on issues including pest and disease control, business improvement and benchmarking, and crop and soil management.”

Chris grew up on an arable farm in Perthshire, where he also worked later in life as an assistant farm manager. He studied agriculture at what was then the Scottish Agricultural College in Edinburgh and most recently spent the last nine years as farms manager in East Lothian growing cereals and pulses.

When Chris was still farming full-time he was a member of one of AHDB’s Arable Business Groups, and he sees that regular interaction with farmers as vital.

“The work AHDB does directly with farmers is great,” Chris said. “Getting farmers together, sharing that wealth of experience and using it to challenge them and getting them to think differently and try new things makes a genuine difference to farming businesses.

“My aim now I’m working for AHDB is to strengthen that work, making sure that everything we offer farmers is practical and relevant; information they can use to improve their productivity and profitability.”

Farmers can contact Chris directly to find out how they can work with him by emailing