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

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