Brixworth Farming is led by an experienced board of directors who work part time in the business, and the company is headed by an independent chairman. We have a small operations team who are supported by an agronomist and our finance and administration team.
Hugh is our independent Chairman. His role is to uphold good governance and make sure that the business is relevant and fit to deliver the correct service to its members. He is a Rural practice Surveyor based in South Lincolnshire with over 25 years of experience dealing with a range of larger and more complex Agri-Food entities, a number of Estates and numerous farmer controlled businesses. His input is typically delivered as Trustee, Non-Exec Chair/Director, mentor, ‘critical friend’ or consultancy via his practice, Hub Rural Ltd.
Non-Executive Shareholder Director
Hugh Lowther is the third generation of the Lowther family to own and manage the 1250-acre farm in Guilsborough. Hugh learnt to farm at the Northamptonshire and Leicestershire College of Agriculture and has diversified the farm to include arable and sheep farming, as well as a pet crematorium, point to point course, fishing pond, rented cottages and a solar farm. He joined Brixworth Farming in 2001.
Non-Executive Shareholder Director
Alastair Macdonald-Buchanan owns the Cottesbrooke Estate in Northamptonshire. A traditional estate, which not only has a significant property portfolio, but also around 1000 hectares of arable land, as well as grassland and woodland. At its heart is Cottesbrooke Hall, a grade 1 listed Queen Anne house. Alastair is a founder shareholder of Agrivert, a leading renewables business focussing on anaerobic digestion. Founded in 1995, Agrivert now has digesters throughout the South of England and Wales. He is a director of The Jockey Club Estates, The Jockey Club’s property and land management arm based in Newmarket, responsible for more than 5000 acres of land including the training grounds at Newmarket and Lambourn and a substantial property portfolio. He lives at Cottesbrooke with his wife Sheran and his four children.
After graduating with a BSc in Agriculture from Newcastle University, Ian joined Yara (UK) in 2005, where he held the post of Company Agronomist until June 2016. Ian was appointed to the Board as Arable Director in May 2016 and in April 2019 took over the role of Managing Director from Charles. He is responsible for managing the business and its relationship with clients. He is BASIS and FACTS certified and is keen to see best use of precision farming, combined with careful variety selection and input use to deliver optimum sustainable economic yields.
Charles gained a BSc in agriculture at Reading University before returning to the family farm at Creaton, where he now farms in partnership with his brother John, son Ian and nephew George. He is a founding Director of Brixworth Farming. He is BASIS and FACTS qualified, a former member of AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds Board (formerly HGCA) and was founding chairman of the Joint Venture Farming Group aimed at helping others by benchmarking labour and machinery costs. He is a founding trustee of the Farm Safety Foundation and also of the National Land Based College. He is a keen gardener and runner. He was a finalist in the 2015 Farmers Weekly Arable Farmer of the Year Award.
Tom Saunders is a third generation tenant farmer, who farms at Manor Farm, Hanging Houghton and was a founder director of Brixworth Farming in 2000. He grew up with livestock farming, but now farms entirely arable. He’s always had an interest in mechanisation and mechanics, and was until 2015 Operations Manager for Brixworth Farming. Tom has stepped back from day-to-day management to persue other interests but still provides strategic support.
Richard Turney was educated at Shuttleworth College of agriculture and was a founder director of Brixworth Farming in 2000. He farms at Park Farm in Brixworth in partnership with his wife Mo and son Mark, who is now the fourth generation tenant. Farming 620 acres tenanted and share farming, mostly arable, Richard also has a 200-head dairy heifer rearing unit and various diversification enterprises, including a pre-school nursery school. Richard provides valuable support to the operations team at busy times.
Richard (Nobby) gained a diploma in agriculture at Moulton College. He joined Brixworth Farming from founding shareholder W F Saunders & Partners in 2000 and has been an integral part of Brixworth Farming ever since. Promoted to Arable Foreman in 2017, Nobby is responsible for ensuring all operations take place in a timely way. He is married to Jennifer and has two young sons.
Tim joined us last year for seasonal work whilst he was studying, as a mature student, at Moulton College, after a period of employment with Farmcare. He joined the team on a full-time basis in May 2017 as head sprayer operator, driving one of our two Bateman RB35 self propelled sprayers and managing the workload of both.
Mark Turney farms at Park Farm, Brixworth in partnership with his father, Richard. After graduating from Harper Adams University, Mark worked in the construction industry and gained an additional qualification in carpentry before returning to the family farm. Mark runs the family farm business as well as providing back-up operations support to Brixworth Farming. He is married with four children.
Agronomy is carried out in-house through BFC Agronomy Ltd
Julie Blason joined Brixworth Farming in 2001 and is responsible for the company’s financial management, including sales/purchase ledger, payroll, VAT, monitoring of cash flow and budget. Julie prepares the annual accounts and finance reports for monthly meetings and is responsible for inputting and reconciliation of all crop records. In her free time, Julie enjoys socialising with friends and is a season ticket holder at Northampton Saints Rugby Football Club.
Accounts Administrator (Part-Time)
Sarah Harris is a self employed bookkeeper providing part time assistance to Julie in managing the day-to-day book keeping and accounts administration, inputting data for The Joint Venture Farming group and AHDB’s CropBench plus benchmarking programs, and general office duties. Spare time is spent beside either a hockey or rugby pitch supporting her children’s chosen sports and walking her young dog Yogi, who can be found keeping a watchful eye on her from the car!
Charles joins the team for the 2020/21 season on placement from Harper Adams. Charles will be helping out with all the operations during his time with us, as well as hoping to gain experience on all sides of the business.
During harvest he will be operating one of the Lexion 780 combines.
Our small team of full time staff are supported throughout the year by directors and shareholders as necessary. During the busy periods, particularly from July to September/October, support is also drawn each year from neighbouring farmers, students and others. If you are interested in working for Brixworth Farming please get in touch.