CARAS elects new National Chair from NI

The Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS) has recently appointed John Henning OBE from Northern Ireland as its National Chairman for 2021-23.

John Henning
John Henning
John Henning

He has represented NI on the Council for over ten years and succeeds James Black NSch from Fife who has represented Scotland as Chairman for the past two years.

CARAS was established in 1983 to recognise, through its awards scheme, distinguished achievement in agriculture and related land-based industries. It acts on behalf of four agricultural

societies across the UK - Royal Agricultural Society of England; Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland; Royal Ulster Agricultural Society & the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society.

John spent his professional career in banking and specialised in agribusiness for over 30 years before retiring as Head of Agricultural Relations at Danske Bank in 2016. Since then he has remained active in the agri-food industry and is currently a Non Executive Director/Trustee in a number of agricultural organisations including the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock, Countryside Services and Lantra. He is a Past Chairman of AgriSearch and Past President of the Ulster Grassland Society. He is currently President of Gleno Valley YFC and a Vice President of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society where he sits on a number of committees. He was awarded an OBE for services to agriculture in the New Year Honours 2019.

Well known across the UK for his involvement in cattle breeding he runs a small herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle and has an ownership interest in a number of pedigree dairy cattle. A frequent winner at shows across the UK and Ireland, his interest in cattle and communication ensure he is in demand as a livestock judge.

His interest in agricultural shows led to him undertaking a Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 1996 and today he is an industry advocate via social media to help bridge the gap between farmer and consumer. Away from business his interests include Ulster Rugby, collecting agricultural books and several charitable organisations.

Speaking after his appointment John Henning OBE said, “I feel very honoured to be elected National Chairman of CARAS and thank the Council and NI Panel for putting their trust in me. I look forward to meeting Fellows and Associates across the United Kingdom in the coming months as Covid restrictions ease and our events get back to some semblance of normality.”

CARAS Honorary Secretary Richard Cooksley added John is a great ambassador for Agriculture and CARAS with his breadth of knowledge of the industry and business.