The Fellowship Of Royal Agricultural Societies Coordinated by:

Newsletter – Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies – Autumn 2021 update

CARAS elects new National Chair from Northern Ireland

CARAS has recently appointed John Henning OBE from Northern Ireland as its National Chairman for 2021-23. He has represented NI on the Council for over ten years and succeeds James Black NSch from Fife who has represented Scotland as Chairman for the past two years.

John spent his professional career in banking and specialised in agribusiness for over 30 years before retiring as Head of Agricultural Relations at Danske Bank in 2016. Since then, he has remained active in the agri-food industry and is currently a Non-Executive Director / Trustee in a number of agricultural organisations including the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock, Countryside Services and Lantra. He is a Past Chairman of AgriSearch and Past President of the Ulster Grassland Society. He is currently President of Gleno Valley YFC and a Vice President of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society where he sits on a number of committees.

John’s involvement in agriculture was officially recognised when he was awarded an OBE for services to agriculture in the New Year Honours 2019.

He is well known across the UK for his involvement in cattle breeding. He runs a small herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle and has an ownership interest in a number of pedigree dairy cattle. A frequent winner at shows across the UK and Ireland, his interest in cattle and communication ensure he is in demand as a livestock judge.

His interest in agricultural shows led to him undertaking a Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 1996 and today he is an industry advocate via social media to help bridge the gap between farmer and consumer.

Away from business his interests include Ulster Rugby, collecting agricultural books and

several charitable organisations.

John Hemming OBE - CARAS National Chair 2021 - 2023
John Hemming OBE - CARAS National Chair 2021 - 2023

Speaking after his appointment John Henning OBE said, “I feel very honoured to be elected National Chairman of CARAS and thank the Council and NI Panel for putting their trust in me. I look forward to meeting Fellows and Associates across the United Kingdom in the coming months as Covid restrictions ease and our events get back to some semblance of normality.” CARAS Honorary Secretary Richard Cooksley added “John is a great ambassador for Agriculture and CARAS with his breadth of knowledge of the industry and business”.


Following the movement restrictions covering COVID we had to put the traditional ‘Face to Face’ assessments on hold and introduce an option for remote assessments to cover applicants whose submission could be assessed via ‘Zoom’ by the two assessors.

This option worked well using a procedure approved by the Moderators Panel and the 4 Nations Panels but is no real substitute for the traditional meeting and I am pleased to report we are now back to face to face assessments but have the option to revert to Remote Assessments if restrictions require.

The process covering assessment is dependant on the support of CARAS members and on behalf of the organisation a great deal of gratitude goes to members who provide letters of sponsorship and give time to carry out the assessments. The feedback from assessors is always very helpful and as one recently said to me when asking him to carry one out ‘Happy to do this, I always enjoy (and learn something) from the CARAS Assessments’.

Associateship awarded on 2021 so far:

Mrs Kate Beavan , ARAgS – Farmer and Lecturer – Wales

Title of the Submission: Promoting Positive Perceptions of Farming for Three Decades

Mr Michael Brown , ARAgS – Farmer – England

Title of the Submission: Profitable Farm Through Seed Production

Mr David James Butler , ARAgS – Farmer – England

Title of the Submission: Enhancing Biodiversity in a Conventional Mixed Farming System

Mr Matthew Clive Dobbs , ARAgS – Veterinary Surgeon – England

Title of the Submission: Development of veterinary services to support UK Livestock Farming

Mr Richard Grant Findlay , ARAgS – Farmer – England

Title of the Submission: Developing Future Agricultural Policy and Support

Mr Jock Gibson , ARAgS – Farmer and Butcher – Scotland

Title of the Submission: Better Grass Management For Better Returns and Better Beef

Mr Gareth Griffiths , ARAgS – Director and Farmer – England

Title of the Submission: The Development of a Family Poultry Farm to a World Leading Multi-Site Egg Production and Packing Operation

Mr Alan John James , ARAgS – Farmer, Engineer and Agricultural Contractor – Wales

Title of the Submission: Four Generations of Diversification, A future For All

Miss Anna Jones , ARAgS – Journalist and Media Consultant – England

Title of the Submission: Helping or Hinder? How the mainstream media Portrays Farming to the public

Mr Brian William Paul Kaye , ARAgS – Estate Manager – Scotland

Title of the Submission: Estate Management and Conservation

Mr Michael King , ARAgS – Farmer/Company Managing Director – England

Title of the Submission: A Passion That Makes a Contribution to British Dairying

Ms Ursula Lavery , ARAgS – Technical and R&D Director – Northern Ireland

Title of the Submission: Improving Biosecurity, Health and Performance in the Poultry Industry

Mr David Lawrie , ARAgS – Farmer – Scotland

Title of the Submission: My journey with SAYFC and Beyond

Mr Seamus McCaffrey , ARAgS – Accountant/Farmer – Northern Ireland

Title of the Submission: At the Centre of the Agri-Industry

Mr Mark John McCallum , ARAgS – Farmer – Scotland

Title of the Submission: Contract Farming

Mr Ian McCluggage , ARAgS – Senior Civil Servant – Northern Ireland

Title of the Submission: Applying Farm Management Principles for Sustainable Business Development

Mr Cormac McKervey , ARAgS – Head of Agriculture Ulster Bank – Northern Ireland

Title of the Submission: Helping farmers to develop themselves and the businesses in a sustainable way

Mr Robert Percy Mercer , ARAgS – Farmer – England

Title of the Submission: Educating the Next Generation

Mrs Caroline Millar , ARAgS – Owner of The Hideaway Experience – Scotland

Title of the Submission: Selling the Farm Experience

Mr Robert Arthur Niven , ARAgS – Farmer – Scotland

Title of the Submission: Diverse Rural Retailiong To Create A Robust Farming Buisness

Mr Mark Osman , ARAgS – Farms Manager – England

Title of the Submission: Windsor Farming System

Mr Sandy (David Alexander) Ramsay , ARAgS – Retired Consultant/Manager – Scotland

Title of the Submission: Tools and Advice for Informed Business Decisions

Mr Mark Slater Robins , ARAgS – Estate Director – England

Title of the Submission: A personal contribution to the benefit of agriculture or land-based industries in the fields of research, technology, economics, education, administration, the welfare of farmers or farming communities, or the wider relationship of farming to other sectors

Mr Nicholas Saphir , ARAgS – Company Director – England

Title of the Submission: Market Opportunities

Mr Bryce Sloan , ARAgS – Farmer – Scotland

Title of the Submission: The Evolution of “The Firm Of Bryce Sloan”

Mr Michael Sly , ARAgS – Farmer – England

Title of the Submission: My farming life, the Fens, drains, sugar and spice, what a community life

Mr James Small , ARAgS – Farmer – England

Title of the Submission: Industry Representation and Communication

Mrs Ella Daphne Tilley, MBE , ARAgS – Director – Wales

Title of the Submission: Promoting Welsh Lamb

Mr Sion Eilian Williams , ARAgS – Farms Manager – Scotland

Title of the Submission: A Personal Contribution to the Benefit of Agricultural Scotland

Mr Robert Wills , ARAgS – Director – England

Title of the Submission: British Cattle – A Golden Resource

Advancement to Fellowship in 2021 so far: 

Mr W.Edward Adamson, FRAgS. Northern Ireland

Mr Samuel Chesney, FRAgS. Northern Ireland

Mr Richard Elliott, CDA, NDA, FRAgS. England

Mrs Fiona Fell, BVSc, MRCVS, FRAgS. England

Mr Ian Garnett, DipAg, MRAC, FRAgS. England

The most Hon The Marquess Hertford, MRAC, DL, FRAgS. England

Mr Stephen Hughson, FRAgS. Wales

Dr Raymond Hunter, MA, MSc, MBA, FIMgt, FRAgS. Northern Ireland

Mr Dafydd Parry Jones, NDA, FRAgS. Wales

Mr Charles Matts, BSc (Hons), FRAgS. England

Mr David McKeown, BVMS, CertSHP, MRCVS, FRAgS. Northern Ireland

Mr Mark Measures, BSc (Hons.Agric), FRAgS. England

Mr Richard Tudor, BSc, FRAgS. Wales

Mr William Williams-Wynne, FRICS, FRAgS. Wales

CARAS Award Events

The cancelation of the main agricultural shows and movement restrictions meant that in 2020 no award ceremonies could be organised. As we start to see the relaxation of controls, the Welsh Panel held an award ceremony on 8th September, Ireland is having one on 23rd September, England on 5th October and Scotland are looking to hold one as soon as possible.  

Who is on CARAS Council and Moderators Panel

·      The Moderators Panel

The moderator’s panel normally meets formally twice a year and as required to review applications for awards. Increasing use has been made of virtual meetings over the last 18 months because of the restrictions associated with Covid.

The panel is led by the Moderator and is made up of a representative of each nation, the national chairman and the immediate past national chairman and they are responsible for the review of applications for awards.

o   Moderator:

Professor E Wynne Jones OBE, BSc (Hons), PhD, Hon DSc, FIAgrE, NSch, FRAgS

o   Panel Members:

§     England:

·      Mr Nick Green, NSch, FRAgS

§     Northern Ireland and National Chairman:

·      Mr C. John Henning, OBE, NSch, FRAgS

§     Scotland:

·      Professor William McKelvey, OBE, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS, FRSE, FRAgS

§     Wales:

·      Mr WI Cyril Davies, BSc (Hons), MIBiol, FRAgS

§     Immediate Past National Chairman:

·      Mr James Black NSch

·      Council:

The Council meets 2 times a year which is traditionally April and November with the last 3 meeting being held making use of Video links.

The Council is made up of a maximum number of 23 covering the 4 nations split as:

o   2 CARAS Fellows from each nation

o   2 Representatives of the 4 Royal Agricultural Societies

o   The CARAS Chairman

o   The Immediate past CARAS Chairman

o   The Moderator who is Ex-officio

o   The 4 members representing the nations on the Moderators panel 

The membership of the Council currently is:

The National Chairman:  Mr C. John Henning, OBE, NSch, FRAgS

The Moderator: Professor E Wynne Jones OBE, BSc (Hons), PhD, Hon DSc, FIAgrE, NSch, FRAgS

Representing England:

Mr Nick Green, FRAgS (Chairman, English Panel)

Mrs Milly Fyfe – (Hon. Secretary),

Miss Rosie Carne, FRAgS              

Mr Jim Godfrey, OBE, FRAgS

Representing Northern Ireland:

Dr Christine Kennedy OBE, FRAgS  (Chairman NI Panel)

Mr Alan Crowe – (Hon. Secretary, N. Ireland Panel)

Mr Billy Martin OBE, FRAgS (RUAS President)

Mr C. John Henning, OBE, FRAgS (National Chairman)

Representing Scotland:

Mr Willie Gill, OBE, FRAgS (Scottish Panel Chairman)

Mr Alan C. Laidlaw, FRAgS (Hon. Secretary, Scottish Panel)

Professor William A.C. McKelvey, OBE, FRAgS

Mr Christo Shepherd, FRAgS

Mr James Black, FRAgS, (Immediate past National Chairman)

Representing Wales:

Mr Emyr W. Jones, FRAgS (Chairman of Welsh Panel)

Mr Stephen Hughson, FRAgS, (Hon. Secretary, Welsh Panel)

Mrs Janet Phillips, FRAgS,  (Vice-Chairman of WP)

Mr W. I. Cyril Davies, FRAg


CARAS Council notes with sorrow & condolences the following deaths that have been notified to the office of Fellows and Associates during 2021:

Mr Charles Stewart, ARAgS                                          Notified January 2021

Professor John Hillman FRAgS                                     Notified January 2021

Mr JR Prunty MBE, FRAgS                                             Notified February 2021

Mr Ian McLaren, FRAgS                                                 Notified February 2021

Mr John McConnell FRAgS                                            Notified March 2021

HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, FRAGS          Notified April 2021

Mr Robert Morrow CBE, FRAgS                                   Notified April 2021

Mr Maurice Beckett, FRAgS                                          Notified May 2021

Mr Tom Copas, FRAgS                                                    Notified June 2021

Mr Malcolm Stansfield MBE, FRAgS                           Notified June 2021

Mr Alasdair Houston, MBE, DL, FRAgS                       Notified June 2021

Mr Hugh Black, FRAgS                                                    Notified July 2021s

External Honours, Awards and Appointments

The office has been made aware of the following CARAS members who have received Honours, Awards, or significant Appointments since January this year:

George Streatfeild MBE, FRAgs              Awarded the MBE for services to the community

Di Westenage, MBE, ARAgS                     Awarded MBE for her services to the UK dairy industry.

Tom Rawson ARAgS                                  Winner of the Dairy Employer of the year award to Evolution Farming

Dr Jude Capper ARAgS                             Harper Adams Honorary Degrees

Dr Jude Capper ARAgS                             The winner of the Sir John Hammond Award

Miss Abi Reader ARAgS                           Farmers Weekly Awards Farming Champion

Mr Gary Yeomans FRAgS                        Federation of Welsh Grassland Societies All Wales Big Bale Silage Competition for 2021 Winner

Prof. Julie Fitzpatrick OBE, FRAgS         Appointed as the new Chief Scientific Advisor at Scottish Government

Update on Leadership Initiatives

CARAS is very supportive of initiatives to develop skills particularly Leadership & professionalism and during the lock down the following have been very active.

·      Agrileadership Week 17th to 21st May 2021

The Worshipful Company of Farmers, Nuffield Scholarships, Institute of Agricultural Management and Farmers Club Charitable Trust linked with AHDB to put on a weeklong event. So as to raise awareness of leadership opportunities that exist in the industry and so as to encourage participation from a much greater audience and show leadership is for everyone!

This was a very successful event for all the organisations, and they are planning to repeat again next year.


·      The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture

The development of TIAH continues with the recently published ‘Five Year Plan’  2021 – 2026 Strategic Plan which lays out its ambitions and targets for the next 5 years and can be found by clicking

CARAS Contacts

CARAS England


Milly Fyfe English Panel Secretary

CARAS Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

Contact: Alan Crow Northern Ireland Panel Secretary

CARAS Scotland


Contact: Alan Laidlaw Scottish Panel Secretary



Stephen Hughson Welsh Panel Secretary


Richard Cooksley CARAS Secretary. Portbury House, Sheepway, Portbury, North Somerset BS20 7TE

English Panel Webinar Tuesday 11th August 2020

Mark Suthern ARAgS, Managing Director and National Head of Agriculture for Barclays bank, will be making a presentation to members on Tuesday 11th August via a Zoom webinar. He will be giving an outlook on how the current pandemic will affect business following lockdown restrictions. 

The event will take place between 2 and 3pm and to register please email Milly Fyfe the English Panel secretary at:  

A new chapter for the English Panel

After 18 years in office, Professor Malcolm Stansfield has retired from his position as Honorary Secretary to the English Panel of the Council for Awards for the Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS).

As a Fellow of Royal Agricultural Societies (FRAgS) and active member from the 1980s, he was the natural successor to Mike Soper. With his inimitable style and customary dedication, Malcolm embraced the role of arranging panel meetings, study tours, conferences, processing applications for Associateship/Fellowship and organising the Awards presentation ceremonies.

Malcolm has guided a succession of Chairman to create the culture of fellowship and superb camaraderie the organisation enjoys today. Malcom will remain as a Moderator and Trustee of CARAS.

Malcolm recalls numerous memorable visits to farms, estates and businesses across the length and breadth of the country. Amongst the many highlights has been the 2019 study tour to Norfolk, visiting the John Innes Centre, historic Holkham Estate and seeing the valuable work preventing run off into the streams at Salle Farms.

Commenting on Malcolm’s retirement Panel Chairman Duncan Worth said ‘we owe our gratitude and sincere thanks to Malcolm for all his work with CARAS over the years’. ‘He is completely dedicated to all that he does within the food and farming industry and to the people that he meets.’

Following Malcolm’s retirement his successor Milly Fyfe, will take on the role as English Panel Secretary. Milly is a former NFYFC chairman, has a background in PR, marketing and charity fundraising and has worked for farming organisations including the R.A.B.I and the Shorthorn Society.

Milly commented ‘I am looking forward to maintaining and developing the superb work that Malcolm has achieved over the many years.’ ‘I hope to help the organisation move forward with embracing new technology and engage more with the farming community to ensure high achieving and committed individuals are suitably recognised’.  

The AGM of the Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies English Panel was held on 17th June via Zoom conferencing, where the handover took place.

Correspondence concerning the English Panel of CARAS should be sent to Milly Fyfe by emailing:

For more information on the work of CARAS visit: or follow on LinkedIn:

Professor Malcolm Stansfield MBE, BSc, Dip. Agric, FIAgrM, FRAgS, FRASE, Princess Royal Award, Churchill Scholar.

Malcolm was born and raised near Barnoldswick (‘Barlick’ to locals), Son of a Master Butcher, his grandparents farmed at nearby Copy Nook Farm in Bowland. When he was born, Barnoldswick was within the West Riding of Yorkshire –a Yorkshireman “from God’s own County” – although since 1974 the residents of the town reluctantly pay their council taxes to Lancashire! Commitment to practical farming combined with suitable prowess at school secured Malcolm a place in 1953 to study agriculture at the University of Leeds. A postgraduate diploma in agriculture brought him to study at Reading where he became a Senior Lecturer in Farm Management combined with the Director of the University’s farms. Malcolm retired after 42 years as the longest-serving member of the University of Reading’s academic staff.

When Director of the University of Reading Farm Management Unit within the Agriculture Faculty, Malcolm with others founded the International Farm Management Association (IFMA) which held its first biennial congress in 1971. Elected President in 1991, Malcolm retired at the 16th Congress in Cork in 2007 and is now a Patron.

Malcolm has served as Chief Agricultural Advisor to the Royal Agricultural Society of England for several years.

A Winston Churchill Scholar, he studied the management of large- scale dairying in North America and is recipient of the Princess Royal Award for his services to the UK dairy industry. He has lectured widely, been consultant in numerous countries and was a Special Adviser to the House of Commons Agriculture Select Committee. He is author of * management and husbandry texts and in his engaging style has been presenter of a series of agricultural video programmes – widely used in teaching establishments.

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2003 Malcolm was awarded the MBE (Member of the British Empire) for his services to agriculture and to the community in Reading.

Malcolm was awarded the post of Hon. Visiting Professor by The Royal Agricultural College (now the Royal Agricultural University) in 2007.

*Among many written communications, Malcolm and Professor Tony Giles wrote their notable 1980 book The Farmer as Manager (Geo. Allen & Unwin). Malcolm also wrote in 1983 The New Herdsman’s Book (Farming Press), and in 1994 with the late Eric Carter British Farming: changing policies and production systems (Farming Press).

Mrs Milly Fyfe BA (Hons)

Quoted by Women’s Hour as a progressive woman in Agriculture, an inspirational woman award winner and Farmers Weekly Farming hero finalist, Milly forged her career in the food and farming industry after climbing the ranks within the Young Farmers Clubs Organisation where she became National Chairman in 2012.

She has held various voluntary roles within agriculture including representation on the NFU council, Oxford Farming Conference council as well as a member of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Women in Food and Farming networking group.

She represented the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I) for 8 years as East Midlands Regional Manager, where she took charge of fundraising, marketing and communications for the charity.

In 2016 she become Chief Executive Officer of the Shorthorn Society and Beef Shorthorn Society before taking a career break in 2017 to start a family.

Milly is based in Northamptonshire and supports her husband on a mixed farm with a beef suckler herd, 300 breeding ewes as well as arable crops including wheat, barley, hay and silage.

Thanks to the support of the Henry Plumb Foundation Milly was able to launch a project looking at adding value to rare breed pork and now runs a successful pork meat box scheme with Gloucester Old Spot Pigs.

A Food and Farming Ambassador, rural communicator and friend, Milly now looks to the future helping businesses with their marketing and PR as well as taking on the role of English Panel secretary for the Council for Awards of the Royal Agricultural Societies.

Milly has a degree in Business and Management for the University of Northampton

CARAS Events

All CARAS Meetings and events are currently postponed for the foreseeable future due to the present restrictions and controls in place.

Agriculture continues to react to the challenges the present situation has given us and congratulations to all the staff working within the sector to achieve this. Once we return to some semblance of normality, we have a real challenge to make sure the general public, government and the powers that be understand the need to have a strong/robust supply chain that produces quality food within the UK.

The CARAS Council has adapted to the situation with the planed Council meeting will be making use of a video conference facility.

The process associate with the review of applications is continuing with the exception of the assessment visits which are on hold until the present restrictions are amended to allow them to take place again.

CARAS Wales Conference ‘2020 and beyond’

CARAS Wales Conference – Friday 24 January 2020 at 2pm
at the Royal Welsh Showground

CARAS Wales conference seeks to continue to build on the success of our ambition to become more visible and to help to shape and influence the future of agriculture.

Our key note speakers include Mr Oliver McEntyre, National Strategy Officer for Barclays Agriculture, and Mr Huw Thomas, Managing Director of Puffin Produce.

This is an exciting opportunity to put forward the views of CARAS Wales and we very much hope you will be able to attend.

If you would like to attend the Conference then please contact the CARAS Wales office on 01982 554412 or email