Meet the Team
Roger Mercer is Chairman of Harper Adams University. Roger is a graduate of Harper Adams and now runs Mercer Farming Ltd, a 5,500 acre farm business based primarily in Staffordshire, focused on arable and pig production together with rural offices and storage. He also farms in New South Wales, Australia and has agricultural interests in Eastern Europe. Roger is a Nuffield Scholar and studied pig and potato production in North America. Other business interests include property management, farm management consultancy and meat marketing, and Roger was past chairman of trustees of Lichfield Cathedral.
Tony studied agriculture at Harper Adams and began his business consultancy career with Genus Management, starting as Senior Consultant in the South West and then Regional Consultant for South Wales. In 1994, he was appointed National Business Manager. In 1996, Tony joined Andersons Farm Business Consultants at their Melton Mowbray office and became a partner in 1997. Four years later, he became a partner in The Andersons Centre with responsibility for the specialist dairy team and shared responsibility for professionals, the food industry and government organisations. Tony has specialist knowledge in dairy company and co-operative management, dairy business strategy and joint venture establishment. He is currently a director of a farmers’ cooperative and an equity partner in a contract dairy farm agreement in Leicestershire. He is a facilitator in several farmer discussion groups, and a former business trainer/mentor for DairyCo and Farming Connect. Tony is a 1991 Nuffield Scholar and former NFST Trustee. He is a past president of the British Grassland Society.
Julie studied Animal Science at Wye College (London University) and began her off-farm career in agricultural journalism, working initially for the Dairy Farmer magazine. From journalism she went into agri-business and land-based PR and marketing, and launched a 25-year career in corporate communications, working with blue-chip companies, farming cooperatives and industry membership association. As a chartered professional, she specialised in share offers and investor communications, company mergers and acquisitions, crisis communications and corporate reputation, as well as political campaigns. In 2012, Julie returned to her farming roots and energetically mixes the running a growing arable and sheep farm in north Shropshire with PR/writing. Julie is currently a Trustee of the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust, a Council Member of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Midlands Chairman of CRAG. She is a Nuffield Scholar (1987), a Churchill Fellow (2006) and a Fellow of the Worshipful Company of Farmers. She is a former Governor of Walford & North Shropshire College and a Sponsor/Founder Member of the charity ‘UK Agriculture.com’.
Stephen Fell studied Rural Estate Management at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, and subsequently qualified as a Chartered Surveyor. He managed farms in France and Kent before returning to the family business. He was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 1983 to study the production and marketing of prime lamb in NZ and Australia. He is MD of HR Fell &Sons Ltd – a family farming business which includes the Meatlinc Sheep breeding operation run by his son George. He is also MD of Lindum Turf Ltd (a business that resulted from his Nuffield) growing and marketing 650 acres of turf, wildflower turf and green roof vegetation. He is currently a trustee of the UK Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust, was UK Chairman 1997 – 2000, and International Chairman 2000 – 2003. He has been Chairman of LEAF – Linking Environment and Farming – since 2009.
Bill decided he was going into agriculture-related business at an early age and graduated from Harper Adams in 1983 with a HND in Agricultural Marketing and Business Administration. His first job was as a grain buyer and then trader for Oldacres. In 1991, he was appointed Sales Manager at the UK’s largest farmer cooperative, Midland Shires Farmers (now Countrywide) who became the first compounder to implement a full, two-year traceability programme in feed ingredients. In 1997, Bill was appointed as the first Scheme Manager for the new National Assured Combinable Crops Scheme employed by CMi (now part of NSF International). For the past 18 years he has held various positions and overseen the growth of the business to 35,000 UK customers and now covering all areas of agriculture. In late 2015, Bill was appointed Head of Agriculture at SAI Global. Bill is a 2002 Scholar and studied the world grain trade.
Andrew farms just south of Lincoln on the Lincolnshire Limestone Heath. He grows combinable crops, and is currently ‘taking a holiday’ from growing sugar beet. The majority of farm operations are contracted out to a neighbour who shares his belief in no-till. Andrew is also closely involved with the running of a visitors centre dedicated to those who served in Bomber Command in WWII which is based on the home farm. Since being awarded a Nuffield Scholarship in 2000 to study ‘No-till in a root crop system’, Andrew has participated in four International Triennials, joined the Canadians on a visit to Brazil and was part of the UK Arable group trip to Argentina.
Claire has been a Business Administrator at The Andersons Centre for 11 years. Her responsibilities include assisting Tony Evans, Partner and Dairy Business Consultant, as well as supporting members of the consultancy team. She is secretary of Vale Farmers Co-op Ltd which is the local buying group consisting of 28 dairy farmers. Claire and her husband run a dairy farm which comprises 400 cows, focusing on producing milk from forage. Milk is sold to Long Clawson Dairy to produce Stilton cheese. Claire has two children aged 20 and 17 years old. Her hobbies include country pursuits and walking.