IN CURRENT times, it is prudent to acknowledge the importance of environmental change – and in recognition of that, the National Beef Association has appointed livestock sustainability expert Jude Capper to its board.

Ms Capper, an independent livestock sustainability consultant based in Oxfordshire, undertook her BSc in Agriculture with Animal Science and PhD in Ruminant Nutrition and Behaviour at Harper Adams University College, followed by post-doctoral research at Cornell University (USA) and a faculty position at Washington State University (USA).

Her research has focussed on modelling the sustainability of livestock production systems, specifically beef and dairy, including quantifying changes made by improving productivity or adopting differing management practices. She is also currently working on projects relating to the impacts of medicines use on UK beef farms and the national and global impacts of livestock health and welfare on system sustainability.

Ms Capper has an active social media presence and spends a considerable amount of time de-bunking some of the more commonly heard myths relating to livestock production. To this end, she was awarded the 'Dairy Industry Woman of the Year 2017' and the 'Farming Hero of the Year 2018' awards. Associate Membership of the Royal Agricultural Society was conferred upon her in 2018.

The NBA Board has also welcomed vet Gareth Boyes, a partner at the Ark Vet Centre in south west Scotland, to the team. With over 20 years of experience specialising in farm animal medicine, and a particular interest in cattle reproduction and fertility, Mr Boyes is the official vet for several of the main breed societies, and works closely with them to provide expert and up-to-date advice on all aspects of individual and herd health. He is also involved with the deer farming industry, both as a veterinary consultant for First Venison, and with the management of his own herd of red deer.

In recent times, Mr Boyes has represented the National Beef Association on the CheCS Board, and will continue to do so as a full member of the NBA Board.

NBA chairman Andrew Laughton commented: “In recent times, our industry has been subjected to unprecedented financial pressure, which at times has been coupled with unjustified and unsubstantiated accusations from various environmental reports.

“The addition of both Jude and Gareth to our Board strengthens our knowledge base at a critical time for the industry, both post-Brexit and post-pandemic. We look forward to utilising their individual strengths and skills to promote the values of our industry at all levels, and we welcome them both to the team."