Meryl Ward to succeed Stewart Houston

Meryl Ward MBE, has been named as the successor to Stewart Houston at the head of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s (AHDB) strategy board for pigs, taking up the post on April 1.

Mrs Ward, who with her husband Steve farms a large arable enterprise in Lincolnshire, including 2,200 sows, was a BPEX board member from 2003 to 2011, playing a key role on the welfare outcomes work stream, helping take research into welfare outcome measures into a ground breaking industry scheme for measuring real welfare indicators in farm animals.

She was also a key member of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (now a committee) for many years, during which time it produced highly acclaimed science-based reports for government. Mrs Ward, in fact, chaired the report Farm Animal Welfare: Health and Disease.

“I’m extremely excited by the opportunities for market development, innovation and growth for the industry, and look forward to working with AHDB to make this a reality for the pig sector,” said Mrs Ward.

The appointment is one of four new members to AHDB announced today. George Lyon, former NFU Scotland president, is named as an independent member with Stuart Roberts, Paul Temple and Meryl Ward all joining the Board and, in addition, being named respectively as chair of AHDB’s strategy boards for beef & lamb, cereals & oilseeds and pigs.

“I’m delighted to welcome these four industry experts to the AHDB Board,” said board chairman, Peter Kendall. “They share my passion to both grow British agriculture and to develop AHDB into a leading centre for agricultural innovation.”

Mr Kendall then thanked Tim Kelly (independent), John Cross (beef & lamb specialist), Jonathan Tipples (cereals & oilseeds specialist) and Stewart Houston (pig specialist) who all complete their AHBD role on March 31. 

“I would like to thank John, Jonathan and Stewart for the massive contribution they have made to their respective sectors over many years,” he said. “They have all been central figures in developing sector delivery from the very start of AHDB and pass on the opportunity to take AHDB to its next stage of development. And Tim, for his contribution as an independent member to the continued development of a sound governance structure at AHDB.”

See previous Pig World report on BPEX appointment 

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