AgriSearch, the Northern Ireland farmer-funded research and innovation body, has marked the recent retirement of James Campbell from its Board of Trustees. From Newtownards James Campbell has a very strong farming heritage. He was a key driving force in helping AgriSearch deliver on its objectives of identifying and funding key applied research projects, which have helped deliver enhanced levels of production and efficiency at farm level right across Northern Ireland.

An honours’ graduate in biochemistry from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), James went on to secure a Master’s degree in farm economics, again from QUB. During a career stretching back over 40 years he has held a number of important positions, which have impacted significantly on the development of the farming industry in Northern Ireland.

James is a former Deputy General Secretary of the Ulster Farmers’ Union. He was subsequently appointed to the position of Northern Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal. As a journalist James rose to the highest ranks within the International Federation of International Journalists (IFAJ). He was Treasurer of the organisation for many years.

AgriSearch Chairman John Henning (right) presenting James Campbell with a crystal decanter in recognition of his many years of service to AgriSearch. Also looking on Jason Rankin (General Manager)

James joined the Board of AgriSearch in 2004 and was immediately appointed to the position of Vice Chairman. In February 2009 he was appointed Chairman of AgriSearch and held that position until 31st March 2016 when he became Senior Vice Chairman. James then stepped down from that role and more significantly from the Board, in early 2018. 

During his fourteen years with AgriSearch, James helped the organisation build on its established reputation in delivering for ruminant livestock farmers through the research it commissioned. delivering for ruminant livestock farmers through the research it commissioned with their support. He also played a critical role in helping to drive forward the annual income secured by AgriSearch from £400k up to the current level of £550k.

In June 2017, James was appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to agriculture in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Commenting on the retirement of James, John Henning, the current AgriSearch Chairman, said:

“On behalf of the board of trustees and staff I would like to thank James for his dedication and immense contribution to AgriSearch over the years.

“We all, along with previous board members, have benefitted greatly from your wise counsel, commitment, help and support.”