Peter Innes – Chair of the John Innes Foundation

After serving in the army, Peter worked for a time in Hong Kong; then in the financial services sector in Edinburgh.

He maintains an unbroken line of Innes family members (John Innes was his great-grandfather’s brother) who have been trustees of the Foundation.

Now retired, he has recently completed an MSc with distinction at Lincoln College, Oxford.

Ian Crute CBE – Non-Executive Director, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

Professor Ian Crute has had a long and varied career in agricultural science and is a recently-appointed Non-Executive Director of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). Prior to joining the Board he held the post of AHDB Chief Scientist for 5 years.

His primary professional expertise is in plant pathology and genetics with a particular interest in the sustainability of agricultural systems. Prior to joining AHDB, Professor Crute held the post of Institute Director at Rothamsted Research for 10 years. This followed 25 years in Horticulture Research International as a Research Leader in plant pathology, Head of Department and Director at the organisation’s Wellesbourne laboratory.

Professor Crute’s scientific contributions are recorded in over 170 publications and his work has been recognised by several awards including a CBE for “services to plant science”.

He was a member of the Lead Expert Group for the “Global Future of Food and Farming” Foresight project and he currently serves on several Boards and Committees connected with science and innovation within the UK agri-food sector including the Agri-Tech Leadership Council.


Keith Norman – Technical Director, Velcourt Ltd

Keith Norman graduated from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne with an honours degree in agriculture, specialising in crop production and plant science.

Since then, Keith has followed a career in practical farm management for 6 years, initially as a working farm manager and eventually becoming arable manager on a 1,200 hectares estate in Lincolnshire. Keith then changed to a more technically based role as Technical Director, supporting Velcourt’s team of 45 farm managers in crop production technology and managing Velcourt’s in-house research and development activity in 1989.  Velcourt currently manage 53,000has in the UK.

Keith has worked on various overseas projects in Spain, France, Germany and Zambia and has been actively involved in Velcourt’s recent activities in Russia and the Ukraine.

Velcourt’s R&D is primarily to provide its team of 46 farm managers with totally independent technical information from which they can make cost effective decisions to optimise yield and profit. In addition Velcourt are partners in many larger, collaborative projects funded by the UK Government’s DEFRA and Innovate UK.  Velcourt R&D also work with all the major Agrochemical manufacturers, providing truly independent evaluation of new and existing active ingredients.

Dr Tina Barsby

Tina is a plant geneticist well-known for her scientific achievements and significant experience in the agricultural crop sector.

CEO of NIAB since 2008, her strong leadership skills and supportive staff have enable Tina to position NIAB to where it is today as an internationally recognised and innovative organisation.

Tina has a first degree in Agricultural Botany from the University of Wales at Bangor, and a PhD from the University of Nottingham.  She spent a postdoctoral period at Kansas State University, and worked at Allelix Inc, Ontario, Canada for several years before returning to the UK in 1989.

She joined Nickerson UK (now part of the Limagrain Group) where she remained until joining NIAB in 2006.

As well as being a Trustee of the John Innes Foundation, Tina is a Fellow of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge; a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology; a Trustee of the Lawes Agricultural Trust; a member of the Board of Agrimetrics; a member of the Agri-Food Technology Council; and an Associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies.


David McLeavy Hill DL

David was born in Norwich in 1957 and grew up in Norfolk. He trained as a Solicitor and worked in the Banking department of a law firm in the City of London. In 1987, with two colleagues, he set up an investment Banking business, Triton Capital Limited, advising airlines, aircraft manufacturers and banks.

David, his wife and three children, returned to Norfolk in 1995 and he is now Executive Chairman of Jarrold & Sons Ltd, a family owned Retail, Property and Business Services Company in Norwich founded in 1770.

He is also a Director of Archant Ltd, a Governor of the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library and a Trustee of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association. He also serves as a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk.

David has held various other roles in Norfolk; he was Deputy Chair of the UEA Council, Chair of Norwich HEART and Chair of the Norwich Playhouse Theatre.