North & North East UK
South & South West UK
Head of Crop Technology
Nick graduated from Harper Adams with a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture in 2009 and worked as an agronomist in East Anglia for a number of years. In 2015 Nick moved to Russia working with a 200,000 ha farming business to improve all aspects of crop production.
Nick continues to work as a consultant to a number of large farming businesses in Eastern Europe and the CIS region alongside his role as Head of Crop Technology for Velcourt. In his current position, Nick works closely with Velcourt Farm Managers and Agronomists to optimise crop production systems and strategy for the company and its clients.
Head of Agronomy
Patrick joined Velcourt in 2019 after 11 years with a national chemical distributor and offers clients full crop walking services alongside valuable strategic advice.
He is based at the Down Ampney Estate and advises on combinable crops, grass, forage, AD feedstock and root crops. He is BASIS, FASTS, ICM and BETA trained and completed The Worshipful Company of Farmers’ advanced business management course in 2007.
Regional Adviser Yorkshire & East Midlands
Ben graduated from the University of Reading in 2016 with a first class honours degree in Agriculture. After working for a large agrochemical distributor, he joined the Velcourt Advisory Team in 2018.
His professional interests include conservation agriculture and sustainable soil management and he is a firm believer in the capacity of quality agronomic advice to increase an enterprise’s sustainability and resilience.
Regional Adviser Cotswolds
A former farm manager and spray operator, Kieran provides agronomy advice to Velcourt clients in the Cotswolds and surrounding counties.
His approach is hands-on, progressive and collaborative and he has a particular passion for agri-tech and soils. His ultimate aim is to work with growers to achieve the most efficient means of crop production at the lowest sustainable cost.
Regional Adviser East Anglia
After working as an independent agronomist and as area manager for a global agrochemical manufacturer, Ryan took up post as a regional agronomist for Velcourt in 2017.
He provides tailored advice to arable advisory clients as well as working alongside the R&D team to plan and evaluate Velcourt’s trial work. His professional interests include soil and crop nutrition, precision farming and benchmarking. Ryan is from a farming background in Somerset and is a graduate of Harper Adams.
Regional Adviser South West
Chris joined Velcourt as an South West Regional Agronomist in 2019. Chris moved to Hampshire in 1996 when he was appointed as Farm Manager on a large mixed enterprise and private Estate.
In 2012, he specialised in morphine poppy production and became U.K. and Portuguese Poppy Operations Manager for Johnson Matthey being responsible for all aspects of 4000 hectares of poppy production. In 2017 he became a regional distribution agronomist, whilst continuing to advise on the U.K. poppy production following an industry restructuring. Chris joined Velcourt with significant practical and agronomy knowledge. He advises on farms across the South West.
Rob has a strong background in animal management and business development including spending several years in New Zealand, management of a number of large dairy units in North America and consultancy work in South America and Australia.
Rob works with Velcourt’s dairy clients to deliver technical systems which support maximum profitability, independent nutritional advice for enhanced milk production and the highest standards of health, safety and welfare.
Non Executive Directors
Dr David Buckeridge has worked with the leading Food and Agribusiness private equity fund, Paine Schwartz Partners (PSP) since 2006 and has more than 25 years of management experience in the life science and agribusiness industries. He began his career with AstraZeneca and was previously the CEO of Advanta. David is chairman of the board of ScanBio Marine Group and serves on the boards of Rivulis, Spearhead International and Verdesian Life Sciences. He grew up on London and has a PhD in Genetics and Plant Sciences from the University of Wales.
Anthony Colburn is based in Gloucestershire where he owns and farms land. He is managing director of a farming company in Lincolnshire and a non-executive director or trustee of several estates with extensive property and farming interests. He has served as a Governor of the Royal Agricultural University and joined the Velcourt Board in 2012.
Steve has a wealth of experience within the UK agriculture and agrifood sectors. He was Head of Agriculture at HSBC for ten years and spent four years as Head of Food and Agriculture at Smith & Williamson before taking on a number of non-executive roles for a range of companies in the fresh produce, agricultural supplies and plant breeding industries.