Keith appointed NIGTA president

Keith Agnew, President, NIGTA. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Keith Agnew, President, NIGTA. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

The Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association is pleased to announce the election of Dr Keith Agnew, Chief Executive of United Feeds Ltd, as its President for 2017.

Keith’s main area of interest has been nutrition and management of the dairy cow and he has held a number of nutritional and advisory posts within the industry.

He was appointed Chief Executive of United Feeds in September 2013 and is a member of the advisory board for the Canadian company, Fermentrics. He is also current President of the Northern Ireland Institute of Agricultural Science.

During his year as NIGTA President he hopes to assist in further development of training modules for feed advisers, trade awareness courses for new entrants to the industry, and support Food Fortress, the world leading quality control system for the feed trade.

Keith is also taking a keen interest and involvement in Brexit negotiations and sits on DAERA’s Brexit Consultative Committee.

Partnerships and negotiations with other trade associations will also be a priority in order to support the local agrifood industry.

After graduating from Queen’s University, Belfast in 1989, Keith spent three years at the Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland (now AFBI) studying for a PhD in dairy cow nutrition.

After this, Keith joined DARD (now DAERA) as a lecturer at Greenmount College (CAFRE) before entering the animal feed industry in 1995. In 2002 he took up a Business Development role with United Feeds. United Feeds is part of the Dale Farm Group, which is the largest milk processor in Northern Ireland.

Within his roles, Keith has been responsible for the commercial team as well as product development, R&D programmes and on farm support.

During his career, Keith has presented papers at numerous international conferences and meetings in Europe, Canada and the USA.

Outside of work he is involved with the Replay Theatre Company, which produces work for young people from babies to 19 years old, particularly those with Multiple Learning Difficulties.

He is also a keen Ulster Rugby supporter.