Introducing our new Steering Committee

The CropTec Show has been delivering and showcasing technical knowledge, products, services and practical advice to some of the UK’s leading progressive growers and agronomists for the last ten years. We’ve cemented CropTec’s place as the premier technical knowledge event in the UK, with farmers, growers and agronomists using the show to make vital business decisions and to find new ways to improve their arable practices.

We understand the importance of the show and the platform it has given us. CropTec is an important part of the arable sectors eco system. We want to build upon the success of the past ten years and continue to evolve the show into something truly beneficial to the UK arable sector.

Consisting of growers, agronomists and industry thought leaders, our steering committee have a range of expertise across the sector. Bringing together technical insight and actionable advice, the committee will help to shape and inform content as CropTec continues to be a valuable space for knowledge exchange.

Meet our Committee

Harry Henderson

Starting out as a tractor, combine and crop sprayer operator for Rothamsted Research becoming farm manager at Monsanto Cambridge. From there he took a role with John Deere as a Crop Systems Specialist involved in sales support in combine harvester, crop sprayer and precision technology products. In 2013 Harry joined AHDB as a regional manager for the North of England and is now Technical Knowledge Exchange Manager with a focus technical knowledge transfer, mechanisation, soil management and sustainable arable farming. 

Will Oliver

Will Oliver, is fourth generation on the family farm. Working with the family as part of a diverse farming business. The business includes a wide range of activities from arable, poultry, glamping and lettings. Will is on National Crops Board, Maize Growers Association Council and ambassador for Clean Up Britain

The mainstay of the business for generations has been the arable department. And that remains that case today. The organic manures from the poultry has revolutionised our Cost of Production. Especially in this volatile time. Passionate about efficiency and moving the business forward. Utilising manures by growing grain maize for GLW feeds is seeing huge benefits to our soils. Bringing cover crops, sheep and utilising manures into our rotation. The future looks bright as we moving toward direct drilling and reducing fixed cost and working on improving efficiency further…..the bi production being net zero hopefully.  

Sarah Cowlrick

After a career in farm business management and overseeing one of the first bench marking systems with ICI Sarah heads up the AICC (Association of Independent Crop Consultants) as their CEO .  She has a demonstrated track record in agriculture and strong organisational and communication skills and an exceptional knowledge of agronomists throughout the UK. She manages the continued independent agronomy market share growth and success of the AICC national technical winter conference, R&D trials, member training and the summer technical event as well as outside contracts with a team based in Hampshire and a Board of Directors, all established agronomists throughout the UK. 

Patrick Levinge

Patrick lives in the Cotswolds and has worked for Velcourt for 4 years, the majority of which as ‘Head of Agronomy’. The Velcourt Advisory services is made up of 9 agronomists based from North Yorkshire down to the south coast. His time is spent mainly with clients but also with a remit to develop the team. There is an ever increasing requirement for good independent advice and we are very fortunate to have our own R & D team within the business, along with farming approximately 60,000 hectares in the UK allows us to deliver a unique offer. 

Thomas Gent

Thomas  Gent, is a 4th generation farmer from South Lincolnshire. He and his family farm 800 hectares and have been doing so regeneratively for 15 years. Thomas is also the UK Market Lead for Agreena. Agreena operates Europe’s largest carbon farming program. 

” I am delighted to be part of this year’s Agriconnect Steering Committee. Farming is going through a huge change and it is important we have access to great knowledge sharing both between farmers and experts” 

Colin Chappell

Colin Chappell is an award winning arable farmer from Northern Lincolnshire. Currently custodian to 645ha of heavy clay loams in the Ancholme Valley, he runs a wide and diverse rotation with less productive land growing Miscanthus. 5.5% of the farm is dedicated to environmental measures, and every year around 300 school children visit to learn where their food comes from. Passionate about soil health, his current focus is on nutrient use efficiencies and decreasing his carbon footprint. As an ex AHDB monitor farmer he cites knowledge exchange as key to his progressive approach to agriculture. 

Michael Kavanagh

Michael is a farm manager from Shropshire who was a Soil Farmer of the Year finalist in 2020.  Biology, manure, cover crops and correct nutrition allow him to farm this way. He grows a diverse range of combinable crops including milling wheat, malting barley, and quinoa among others. Farming operations extend to 1700 acres on a mixture of land owned, contract farmed and grazing licensed.