We are delighted to welcome Jerry and Paul, who have joined us as Arable and Soils Advisors.
As part of their roles they will be helping coordinate field labs across the network. They have a fantastic range of experience and some exciting ideas for field labs.
Jerry has experience in arable and mixed farming having run the family farm in Devon for 25 years. The farm was initially a dairy farm eventually converting to organic and being run as a beef, sheep and arable unit. At the same time he converted a range of farm buildings into a holiday cottage complex, was chairman of a local farmer owned co-op grain store, and became involved in the grain supply chain nationally. Jerry can often be found wherever the Exeter chiefs Rugby team are playing!
Jerry is now the coordinator of one of the GREATsoils field labs: Improving soil health and organic matter using cover crops in a shared rotation
Paul has been a Lecturer and course manager in Agriculture at Newton Rigg College in Cumbria for the last five years, helping to build student numbers to over a hundred new young farmers starting this year and opening new dairy and sheep enterprises. He studied Agriculture at Aberystwyth alongside working at the college farm and Bryn-Llys farm. Paul has worked on a wide range of farms in the UK and overseas, including growing for the retail supermarkets. He previously worked at the Soil Association for 12 years working with certification and Food for Life teams before returning to University as a mature student qualifying as a teacher.
Paul has worked recently on research projects on topics such as protected and micro-nutrient fertilisers, control of rushes and non-chemical weed control. In his spare time, he can be found working at the local community supported farm or providing dad’s teenage taxi service.
Paul is currently investigating potential new field labs in the north of England - if you have ideas for interesting topics please get in touch.
Jerry and Paul have been appointed to succeed Tim Bevan, who worked on several field labs since joining the team in 2013. Tim has gone on to work as a Senior Reserves Manager for Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.