Who's who at the NFU

The National Farmers' Union is a membership organisation led by an elected officeholder team, working in partnership with expert staff for the benefit of our farmers and growers. Meet the NFU team representing you.

Your NFU officeholders

Tom Bradshaw

NFU President

Tom farms in partnership with his wife, Emily, and his parents in North Essex. Alongside a small owned farm they run a larger contract farming business growing a range of combinable crops across 950 hectares in North East Essex.

The home farm is based around arable production but has also diversified into equestrian and renewables.

Tom has represented the NFU from Local Branch Chairman through to Chair of the National Combinable Crops Board.

David Exwood

NFU Deputy President

David believes that the future of farming isn't about managed decline and dependence on environmental payments, it's about creating new opportunities for profitable food production alongside net zero and biodiversity.

David farms south of Horsham in West Sussex with his wife and two sons over 1200 tenanted hectares in the heart of the Sussex Weald.

Starting in 1989 with 70ha the business now has arable, dairy beef, Sussex suckler herd and sheep enterprises. In 2003 the Farm Shop opened and sells a wide range of food from the Victorian stable yard at Westons.

He has served previously within the NFU as Branch Chair, West Sussex Council Delegate, South East Regional Chair as well as four years on Governance Board.

David was elected to the position of NFU Deputy President in February 2024.

Rachel Hallos

NFU Vice President

Rachel Hallos is an upland farmer. She works in partnership with her husband and children on a Yorkshire Water tenanted farm in the South Pennines.

In the last 20 years the farm has evolved from a milk producer/retailer unit, to a farm that focusses on their beef herd, hill sheep and environmental outcomes. They have also diversified with a holiday let and contracting business.

The business has grown through their ability to change and also by collaborating with their landlord on water management, heather regeneration and hay meadow restoration. Rachel takes an honest approach and has an open mind-set. 

Aled Jones

NFU Cymru President

Aled is an eighth-generation farmer who runs a pedigree herd of Holsteins with his with his son, Osian, in Caernarfon. Aled is married to Eilir and together they have four children, Osian, Prysor, Erwaun and Gruffudd and 7 grandchildren. 

Aled has previously held a variety of positions across the industry, including holding the post of Chairman of milk recording company Cattle Information Services (CIS) for seven years and being a trustee of Holstein UK for eight years.

Abi Reader

NFU Cymru Deputy President

Abi is a third generation mixed farmer, farming in partnership with her parents and uncle in Wenvoe, just outside Cardiff. 

The farm is home to milking cows, sheep, beef cattle and around 120 acres of arable.  Abi is a co-founder of Cows on Tour, an Open Farm Sunday host and a former NFU Cymru Wales Woman Farmer of the Year. In 2019 she was honoured by the Queen with an MBE for her services to agriculture.

Your NFU directors 

Terry Jones

NFU Director General

Terry Jones re-joined the NFU as its Director General in April 2016. For five years previously he had been running food industry trade associations. In 2011 he joined the Food & Drink Federation (FDF) as its Director of Communications, where he sought to bring to life how food manufacturers could deliver increased rates of sustainable growth.

Leaving FDF at the end of 2014, he took up the post of DG at the Provision Trade Federation (PTF) looking after the interests of businesses involved in the UK bacon and dairy trade.

Before working at FDF and PTF Terry worked for the NFU from 2002-2011 in a variety of roles including Head of Government Affairs, Head of Food Chain and Director of Communications.

Terry lives in Cheshire with his wife Emma and their two daughters.

John Mercer

Director NFU Cymru

John Mercer is the Director of NFU Cymru and is based in Builth Wells. He has overall responsibility for the management, resources and policy direction of NFU Cymru.

Originally from Llandovery, where his family are livestock farmers, John Mercer has worked his way up through the ranks of the NFU over recent years.

He started with NFU Cymru in 2004 as a Farm Policy Adviser before moving to NFU Headquarters to take up a senior policy adviser position he then went on to become the NFU Regional Director in the West Midlands before returning to his roots in Wales.

Catherine Cooper

NFU Director of People

As the NFU’s Director of People, Catherine supports the NFU's vision to create a better future for our farming members by providing strategic leadership on people and culture. She is also responsible for member development and creating a talent pipeline for future NFU office holders.

Catherine leads a dedicated team of HR professionals that partner with the NFU and its subsidiaries to attract, develop and engage great people to deliver positive outcomes for the NFU and its members.

Her career started on the graduate scheme at Tesco, and after working as a store manager and learning that people are the heartbeat of any organisation, she decided to pursue a career in HR. She worked for a wide variety of organisations, from the NHS to SMEs to privately owned businesses before joining the NFU in 2015. She became Director of People in April 2023.

Outside of work Catherine enjoys spending time with her family and friends in Warwickshire. Her real love is open water swimming, and although she’s based in the very centre of England she will find any excuse to head to the coast for a swim.

James Clark

NFU Director of Communications

James’ first career was in journalism, starting on regional newspapers before becoming a correspondent for The Daily Mail and then The Sunday Times.

He made the move to communications, joining The Ministry of Defence, where he was Director of News for the department and Press Secretary to two Secretaries of State. He joined the private sector in senior communications and government relations roles in-house, and as an agency director.

James joins the NFU from Toyota GB PLC, where he was Head of Press and Public Affairs for the Toyota, Lexus and Kinto brands.

Originally from the New Forest, James lives with his family in a village in Oxfordshire where he enjoys rural pursuits as well as taking old cars apart and wondering why they won’t go back together again.

Andrew Clark

NFU Director of Policy

Andrew Clark is the NFU’s Director of Policy, based at NFU HQ, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. He manages the NFU’s policy development teams which span key commodity, food chain, animal health and cross-cutting policy and professional service teams. Andrew was appointed to his current post in July 2014.

He joined the NFU headquarters in January 1993 from Hertfordshire County Council and has filled a variety of roles including Chief Environment Adviser and, prior to his current role, Head of Policy Services.

Andrew lives with his family in Worcestershire where he grew up on a hop and fruit farm. He has a PhD in Environment Science from the University of East Anglia and is a Chartered Landscape Architect.

Kevin Pearce

NFU Director of Membership and Regions

Kevin was brought up on a small farm in Glamorgan, South Wales; he left school at 16 and worked on a local farm until he joined the NFU in December 1985 as a Group Secretary in Glamorgan. In 1992 he moved to the NFU's North East Region and covered the posts of Field Manager and Senior Policy Adviser.

Kevin moved to the NFU's Headquarters in London in June 1998 as NFU Beef and Sheep Adviser and then Beef, Sheep and LFA's Adviser. In the changes that followed the NFU s review in 2004 he was appointed Chief Livestock Adviser.

In May 2005 he took on a new position of Head of Food Chain and Farm Policy and in October 2006 he was appointed Head of Food and Farming.

Kevin was appointed Director of Regions in February 2011.

Ken Sutherland

Ken Sutherland, Director of Finance and Business Services and Secretary of the NFU

Ken was born and raised on a raspberry farm in Perthshire before gaining a degree in History from the University of Edinburgh. After moving to London he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1988.

Since then he has held senior financial posts in several commercial sectors, including leasing and television.

He joined the NFU on New Year's Day 2002 and is responsible for finance, corporate taxation, HR, property and investments, compliance, NFU CallFirst, the Legal Assistance Scheme and other business services.

Ken is also Secretary of the NFU as well as a director of NFU Energy and the NFU Staff Pension Scheme Trust Company.

Tamsin Richards

Secretary of the NFU

Tamsin is a Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute, qualifying as a Chartered Secretary in 2005. 

Tamsin joined the NFU as Assistant Secretary in 2010, was appointed Head of Compliance in 2011 and Secretary in June 2023.

In her role as Secretary, Tamsin is responsible for advising on Corporate Governance and ensuring the NFU Constitution and Rules are observed and kept up to date. In addition to that, Tamsin manages the Compliance Department, which is responsible for legal compliance, insurance, risk management as well as the NFU's Quality Management System and Business Continuity Plan.

Tamsin also oversees the management of the NFU’s property portfolio, is Secretary to Council, the Governance Board, the Audit and Remuneration Committee, NFU Staff Pension Trust Company Limited, NFU Commercial Holdings Limited and is a Director of NFU Energy Limited.

Prior to joining the NFU Tamsin gained considerable experience working at board level in London and Warwickshire in a number of industries ranging from private equity to environmental compliance.

Originally from a small rural village in Yorkshire, Tamsin lives with her family in Warwickshire. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking for family and friends, gardening and holidaying on the North Norfolk Coast.

Nick von Westenholz

NFU Director of Trade and Business Strategy

Nick von Westenholz was previously appointed as Director of EU Exit and International Trade for the National Farmers Union (NFU) in October 2016, taking up the post in January 2017.

He previously served as Chief Executive of the Crop Protection Association (CPA) from January 2013 to December 2016, representing the UK plant science industry and promoting the development and manufacture of a wide range of plant science technologies including synthetic and bio pesticides, seed and plant breeding and agricultural biotechnology.

Nick has enjoyed a varied career both within and outside agriculture. Prior to the CPA, Nick was Head of Government Affairs at the NFU, responsible for managing the organisation’s political relations and heading up its London office.

He worked for a London-based public affairs agency for many years, advising companies and organisations across a wide range of sectors on media and political relations. He also trained as a lawyer, being called to the Bar in 2007. He lives with his wife and two children on the family’s arable farm in East Hertfordshire, which is managed in partnership with two neighbouring farm businesses.

Farah Salah

Director of Finance

Farah Salah joined the NFU as Director of Finance of the NFU Services Limited Group in February 2021. She is responsible for overseeing the financial stability and performance of the NFU’s commercial subsidiaries and is a director of NFU Services, NFU Energy, NFU EnZero and CT Planning.

She brings to the NFU a strong background in commercial finance and business change management in growing businesses, an inspiring leadership style, experience of integrating acquisitions and strategic financial planning expertise.

Prior to joining the NFU, she was Finance Director at Mattioli Woods plc, a leading UK listed financial services business, where she led the finance team through significant change as the business expanded rapidly. Having joined in 2013, her role developed quickly after playing a key leading role in the IPO of Custodian REIT plc. During her almost seven-year tenure she steered many strategic developments across finance, HR, IT, operations, risk and compliance, including a £14m investment in building a new office.

She qualified as a chartered accountant in 2009 in practice, where she developed a diverse range of experience across finance specialisms and industry sectors, including agriculture and investment property. She joined the practice in 2006, following a short period as a business analyst at Caterpillar Logistics Services (now Neovia Logistics) after graduating from De Montfort University with a degree in Accounting and Finance in 2005. 

Outside of work Farah enjoys playing tennis, travelling and family walks in the countryside with her husband and two sons. 


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