CARAS elects new National Chair from Northern Ireland

John Henning from Northern Ireland has been elected chairman of the influential Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS), replacing Fife farmer, James Black, who had been chair for the past two years.

Read more: James Black takes the CARAS chair

He has represented NI on the Council for more than 10 years and will take the organisation through to its 40th 'birthday'. Established in 1983 to recognise, through its awards scheme, distinguished achievement in agriculture and related land-based industries, it acts on behalf of four agricultural societies across the UK – the Royal Agricultural Society of England; the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland; the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society; and the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society.

Mr Henning had spent his professional career in banking and specialised in agribusiness for more than 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 or trustee in a number of agricultural organisations including the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock, Countryside Services and Lantra.

Also a farmer, with an interest in Aberdeen-Angus cattle and show quality dairy animals, 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 RUAS, where he sits on a number of committees.

A frequent winner and judge at shows across the UK and Ireland, his interest in agricultural shows led to him undertake 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.

He was awarded an OBE for services to agriculture in the New Year Honours in 2019 and told The SF about his recent appointment: “I feel very honoured to be elected national chairman of CARAS. I look forward to meeting Fellows and Associates across the UK in the coming months as Covid restrictions ease and our events get back to some semblance of normality.”