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

Minette Batters

NFU President

Minette runs a tenanted family farm in Wiltshire.  The mixed farming business includes a 100-cow continental cross suckler herd, as well as sheep and arable.

Diversification includes the conversion of a 17th century tithe barn into a wedding and corporate events venue, and horse liveries. Minette co-founded the campaigning initiatives 'Ladies in Beef' and the 'Great British Beef Week'.

Campaigning on behalf of NFU members about the importance of British food and farming has been a key driver for Minette throughout her time at the NFU. In 2020 she led one of the most successful petitions ever, bringing together a coalition of chefs, including Jamie Oliver, farmers, environmentalists, consumer groups and animal welfare experts – resulting in over one million people signing the NFU food standards petition. She has also regularly engaged with different media genres including appearances on Desert Island Discs, Question Time, and Any Questions.

She has been an NFU member from grassroots through to County Chair; she served as Wiltshire’s Council delegate and also as Regional Board Chair for the South West. Minette has also been a member of NFU Governance Board and served as NFU Deputy President for four years from 2014 to 2018, before being elected as president in February 2018. Minette is also an ambassador of Farm Africa and was made a Deputy Lieutenant to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 2021.

Officeholder responsibilities 

  • Trade and standards
  • EU and international relations
  • Taxation and fiscal policy
  • Science and research and development
  • Food supply chain (fair dealing, Markets and Authorities, competition, regulation)
  • Food service
  • AHDB
  • Levelling up
  • Education

Tom Bradshaw

NFU Deputy 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.

Officeholder responsibilities 

  • Animal health and welfare including bTB
  • Climate change and net zero
  • Water and air issues
  • Clean air strategy
  • Workforce supply and training
  • Farm assurance and labelling
  • Food safety
  • Banking
  • Animal ID and movements

David Exwood

NFU Vice 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 Vice President in February 2020.

Officeholder responsibility

  • Plant health
  • Competitiveness and productivity
  • BPS Transition (NELMs/BPS)
  • Regulation review and enforcement
  • Planning, housing, rural development
  • Agricultural transport
  • Agriculture supply chain relations
  • Infrastructure (HS2, Roads etc)
  • Rural broadband and mobile communications
  • Health, safety and wellbeing
  • Rural crime

Aled Jones

NFU Cymru President

Aled Jones is an eighth-generation farmer who runs a pedigree herd of Holsteins with his with his son, Osian. Aled is married to Eilir and together they have four children, Osian, Prysor, Erwain and Gruffudd and four 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 Reader is a third generation mixed farmer, farming in partnership with her parents and uncle in Wenvoe just outside Cardiff. 

Goldsland Farm is home to 200 milking cows, 150 sheep, 90 beef cattle and 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.

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.

Fran Barnes

NFU Director of Communications

Fran is the Director of Communications. She leads the NFU’s campaigning; media; lobbying; education; membership publications; and staff internal communications teams in our Warwickshire-based HQ and in our Westminster office.

Fran led the launch of our Back British Farming Day and instigated Back British Farming Day in 2016 focused at gaining public and political support for Britain’s farmers.

In 2020 the NFU launched a campaign to safeguard British farming’s high standards in future trade deals, the petition received a million signatures and created a legacy of half a million members of the public registered as supporters of the NFU’s Back British Farming Campaign, a career highlight.

Fran also launched NFU Education in 2017, the education team reach over a third of a million schoolchildren every year with STEM learning resources, all taught through the lens of farming.

Fran is sponsoring Director and strong supporter of the Communications and Public Affairs Graduate Scheme, the Student and Young Farming Ambassador Programme and the NFU’s Inclusion and Diversity workstream.

Prior to joining the NFU in 2012 Fran worked at the BBC for almost 20 years across national radio and television, latterly as Editor of Rural programmes on Radio 4.

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.

Martin Haworth

NFU Director of Strategy

Martin Haworth has a degree in Modern History from St John's College, Oxford University. After university he became a stagiaire (trainee) at the European Commission in Brussels in 1973. He subsequently joined the full time staff of the Commission working in the External Relations and Information field.

In 1980 he joined the NFU's Economics Department, specialising in European issues. Between 1983-86 he was Head of the NFU's Brussels office. 

In 1989 he was made Head of International Affairs at the NFU, involving responsibility for co-ordinating European policy, trade issues and the NFU's international contacts.

In 1995 he was awarded the Chevalier du Merite Agricole by the French Government.

From 1999 Martin was Director of Policy at the NFU. From Nov 2009 - April 2010, Martin was appointed Acting Director General. He has also covered the communications brief in a temporary capacity.

In 2011 Martin was the European member of a Transition Board which established the World Farmers Organisation.

In 2014 he was appointed as Deputy Director General and was Acting Director General for six months from 2015 - 2016.

Following the EU Referendum in June 2016, Martin was appointed Director of Strategy. 

Kevin Pearce

NFU Director of 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.

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 (NFU Services Group)

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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