Stephen is a practical farmer, consultant & Soil and Water manager at Innovation for Agriculture, part of the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE). Stephen been providing farm business consultancy throughout the UK and internationally for over 20 years and has delivered soil, water and crop advice and training to many UK farmers. He has previously worked for DFID, FAO, the World Bank & private Co’s in Africa, India & China.
He guest lecturers at Universities and has held posts on UK Government Policy and Research and Development Committees. Author of ‘Organic Cereal and Pulse Production’ (2011, and contributing author to ‘temperate agroforestry’ (2018) and ‘The Agroforestry handbook’ (2019)). Stephen was a 2011 Nuffield Farming Scholar studying Agroforestry around the world. He was the first vice chairman of the European Agroforestry Federation (EURAF) and is active in influencing agricultural policy at UK and EU levels. Stephen was a founding director of ‘Speedwell Farming Ltd’ and Director of Anglo Chinese Food Ventures (ACFV) and he was a founding Director of the Institute of Organic Training and Advice. Stephen works with private companies, NGO’s, Governments, and local authorities to develop innovative sustainable food production and conservation programmes integrated with other land use systems.
At home, Stephen farms 270 acres of land in Cambridgeshire & in Rutland growing cereals, root crops, vegetable and fruit crops and is pioneering agroforestry, with the UK’s largest system on 125 acres, growing apple trees and field crops together. Agroforestry – 3D farming, mixing trees with crops and or animals on the same area, is a perfect example of ecological intensification. In 2017 Stephen and his wife developed and opened a 4500sqft farm shop and cafe followed by an education centre in 2019 – forging links to local communities and capturing supply chain value.
In 2020 Stephen was awarded the Nuffield Bullock award for the Scholar who has best demonstrated a change in outlook and activity stimulated by their Nuffield Scholarship.
Stephen has an MSc in Soil Science with experience in soil and water management combining research, development, farmer engagement & training, consultancy, policy development work and practical farming. Stephen and his team are leading soil and water management innovation in the UK. He believes that there are huge opportunities to engage stakeholders and farmers and further advance their understanding of our most vital resources.