My interest in sustainable farming was triggered by the natural beef system I experienced growing up on an upland farm in South Wales. I am fascinated by innovative farming systems, especially those on the ‘fringes’, and am inspired by the need for fair and equitable ways of farming.
I did an agriculture degree in 1982, and after a short foray into sales, was a volunteer teacher in Zambia. Having caught the Africa bug, I started a long association with Maasai pastoralists in Kenya researching the impact of vector-borne diseases on cattle productivity, which eventually got me a PhD at Reading Uni where I continued to work on various projects. I became involved in organic farming research and found knowledge of disease epidemiology much more interesting and relevant than in more conventional farming. I co-developed a web-based compendium on animal health and welfare in organic farming, widely used and currently undergoing a third revamp 16 years on.
In 2001 I moved to Duchy College and now consider myself as a bit of a specialist in knowledge exchange and making research accessible. In my spare time I can be found in a variety of garden sheds, occasionally asleep, listening to jazz, or both.