Press release

Independent Agricultural Appeals Panel welcomes new members

Independent Agricultural Appeals Panel welcomes 36 new members, joining existing panel of 14.

Tractor in field

A total of 36 new members have been appointed to serve on the Independent Agricultural Appeals Panel, supplementing 14 existing members whose terms have been extended for a further year.

The new members have been appointed for a three-year period from 1 October 2014 to 30 September 2017.

Appeals panels meet to consider appeals from farmers and traders against decisions made by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) in administering the schemes that it operates. Farming Minister George Eustice then makes a final decision on each appeal taking account of the panel’s recommendations.

RPA Customer Director Justin Chamberlain said:

These appointments strengthen our pool of panel members with a broad range of skills and backgrounds, so we are in the best place possible to consider appeals with due impartiality.

The Rural Payments Agency does its best to resolve complaints and appeals at an early stage, but inevitably there are some cases where we cannot agree with the complainant, who may well not accept our decision.

The Independent Agricultural Appeals Panel provides an important avenue for these cases, bringing external independent expert consideration to cases.

The following new members have been appointed to serve from 1 October 2014 to 30 September 2017:

Colin Agar Owner of a small farm in the Staffordshire moorlands rearing beef cattle. Previously held senior role in Department of Work and Pensions.

Jonathan Birchall - Farm business consultant and agronomist for Balfours LLP, based in Shrewsbury and Hereford. Previously farm manager on the Kings Walden Estate in Hertfordshire, a large diversified farming business. Andrew Brown A mixed farmer both tenanted and owner occupied. A former NFU regional chairman, a director of the Oxford Farming Conference and a chartered environmentalist.

Madeleine Crawley - Tenant beef, sheep and arable farmer and veterinary advisor to Soil Association Certification Limited. Formerly contract dairy farmer and mixed practice veterinary surgeon.

Charles Daniell - Rural chartered surveyor and land agent running his own business in Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire. Alongside this, he also helps run the third generation family farm.

Sarah Dawson - Senior food industry and plant protection policy technical specialist. Member of the Assured Food Standards Fresh Produce board, the Lincolnshire Agriculture and Horticulture forum, Defra’s Fruit and Vegetable Task Force. Former NFU National Horticulture and Potato chairman.

Jim Dixon - Chief executive of the Peak District National Park. After he steps down from this role on 31 December he will be pursuing a portfolio career.

Ian Dreelan - A senior international lawyer. Assistant coroner for Birmingham and Solihull and former Army Officer with a 12-acre smallholding in Wiltshire.

Sarah Easton - An active partner in a family farm. She was formerly the finance director of English Mustard Growers Ltd, and is a chartered accountant who has worked in practice and the media industry.

Richard Fenwick - A self-employed agricultural consultant specialising in advice on combinable crop seed and varieties. He is also a Farm Assurance assessor and a BASIS examinations chairman. For over 30 years he worked at NIAB, Cambridge on the evaluation of cereal, oilseed and pulse crop varieties.

Ciaran Gannon - Freelance consultant. Formerly director in Natural England, policy adviser in the Rural Development Service and farm business adviser for ADAS. Had 10 years of experience managing farms in England and Wales.

Kitty Hamilton - Estate manager at Willoughby Farms Ltd, and a director of Alford Crematorium Ltd.

Julia Hawley - Farms with family in Leicestershire, running livestock and cereal enterprises. A former DairyCo board member, she also has 20 years ADAS and freelance farm consultancy experience.

Cicely Hunt - Company director and Rural Practice Chartered Surveyor specialising in agricultural grants advice to large UK conservation organisations and other land management and farming clients.

Jane James - Independent environment and farming consultant, also a smallholder. Previously worked for the Environment Agency on rural land management.

Neil Johnson - Employed by National Trust as food and farming adviser for Northwest region. Previous employments as livestock buyer, FWAG adviser, and BASIS-qualified agronomist.

Alastair Johnston - Farm management consultant for Smiths Gore, former agriculture manager for Lantra and NFU livestock adviser.

Scott Kirby - Farm manager at Harper Adams University. Previously worked as a farm business management consultant at SAC and in a range of farm management roles. Benjamin Lancaster Senior land agent at Dorset County Council. County farm estate manager, agricultural valuer and advisor.

John Lee - Self-employed farmer and chairman of the Devon County Agricultural Association. Past chairman of SW Sustainable Farming & Food Strategy, member of European Commission CAP Advisory Committee and high sheriff of Devon in 2013/14.

David Lodder - Advisor to farming businesses. Partner and head of the agriculture department of Lodders Solicitors LLP. Board member of the Country Land and Business Association. Owner of 100-acre grass farm.

Christine Malseed - Farmer on Dartmoor for the last 30 years with her husband on a tenanted hill farm. She also runs her own rural business advisory service and is chairman of the local NFU group.

Gordon Meek - Northumberland farmer running owner occupied and part-tenanted mixed livestock and arable farm. Past NFU county chairman and county national livestock delegate.

Julian Morgan - Runs a family 300-acre fruit and arable farm in Herefordshire. Formerly managing director of 7Y Services Ltd and is currently chairman of Herefordshire CLA. He is also a JP and a chartered accountant by profession.

Keith Siddorn - Tenant farmer in Cheshire. Member of the Agricultural Lands Tribunal, Veterinary Products Committee and Tenant Farmers Association.

Laura Smallwood - Smallholder in West Sussex. Trustee and council member of the Cranleigh and South Eastern Agricultural Society. Previously a barrister specialising in property law.

Judith Smith - Solicitor (currently non-practising). Previously a partner for 22 years in a rural legal practice in Northumberland. Now involved in the management and running of the family farming business.

Siobhan Stainton - Runs her own farm administration business and is an active partner in the family, upland dairy and sheep farm in Cumbria.

Janatha Stout - Head of agriculture at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire. Prior to this, lecturer at the Royal Agricultural College and a land agent for the Duchy of Cornwall.

Philip Uglow - Self-employed agricultural consultant. Member of the RPA South West External Stakeholder Group. Former NFU Group Secretary, ADAS Adviser and organic inspector.

Jeremy Walker - Tenant farmer on the Crown Estate for the last 35 years. A former NFU Chairman for Somerset and recently national chairman for the TFA. A magistrate and Agricultural Lands Tribunal Member.

Gareth Wall - Rural practice chartered surveyor, agricultural valuer and consultant practising within Herefordshire and the West Midlands. Gareth grew up on his family’s beef, sheep and arable farm and he remains actively involved within the agricultural industry.

Judith Webb - MBE Former Farm Conservation adviser, Rural Development Service chair, Forestry Commissioner and JNCC deputy chair. Currently a lay member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and part-time forestry lecturer.

Tessa Wigham - Graduate in agricultural sciences, member of IAgSA and a partner in a family farm. Also employed by an agricultural charity and a forestry consultancy business.

Martin Winter - Solicitor with 20 years’ experience working in regulatory matters with particular interest in assisting businesses and individuals in the agricultural sector by helping them negotiate their way through the regulations and rules that apply to their activities.

Patrick Wrixon - Farmer on a mixed holding in Herefordshire. Board member of LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming). President of the European Initiative for the Development of Sustainable Agriculture. Deputy chairman of Herefordshire NFU.

Members whose terms have been extended until 10 November 2015 are:

Richard Angood Self-employed farmer and contractor. He has been a part time lecturer in agriculture at a Cambridgeshire college in recent years until its closure.

Philip Denee - Arable farmer and chartered surveyor running his own practice specialising in management of rural and commercial property.

Jane Dyson - Director of a 500-cow family dairy business. Previously a director of a large farming co-operative buying group and a farm management consultant.

Marie Francis OBE - Chair of InCrops and board member of Adapt Group, using research to develop new products and businesses. Previously ran an arable farm and associated farm diversifications. Awarded an OBE for services to Agriculture and the Rural Economy in 2003.

Rosalind Gough - Farm Advisor and partner in a West Country Farm Management Consultancy practice with many years of experience in farm management and farm advisory services. Past Chairman of the British Institute of Agricultural Consultants and current member of the RPA’s South West External Stakeholder Group.

Mark Howard - Self-employed mixed business farmer, as well as a small farm business advisor and consultant. Previously held senior positions in the NFU and Milk Marque. Lay member on the Agricultural Land Tribunals.

David Hugill - Self-employed mixed business farmer. He is a ward member of Hambleton District Council, chair of Landskills in Yorkshire and Humber and a former NFU County Chairman.

Peter Lawler - Runs his own supply and agricultural consultative business. He is also an organic farm inspector and agronomist. He has a craft certificate in dairying and was a herdsman for a number of years.

Martin Lea - Former dairy farmer who served on the boards of two of the large direct milk selling groups. He also has interests in commercial property and an internet business.

Alistair Mackintosh - Self-employed tenant farmer and NFU county chairman for Cumbria. He was previously farm manager for Muncaster Estates.

Elizabeth Mansfield - Partner in 1000-acre family farming business. Formerly a principal consultant for AEA Technology for the agricultural team working on cross compliance and Catchment Sensitive Farming initiatives.

Jane Uzzell - Farmer and saddler. She has previously been a solicitor, MAFF Diseases of Animals inspector and a member of a parole board.

Elizabeth Warham - Farming on a mixed family farm which produces milk, beef and lamb as well as being self-sufficient in cereals. Previously worked for the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary where she was personal assistant to the chief constable.

Tim Wilson - Rural practice chartered surveyor with estate management experience throughout the South West, including private practice, defence estates and the National Trust.

Notes to editors:

  • The Rural Payments Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). It is the single paying agency responsible for the administration of the Single Payment Scheme in England and for certain schemes throughout the UK.

  • The extension of terms of Panel Members has been conducted under guidelines set by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Published 18 November 2014