Issue date: 16 April 2002
Ben Gill CBE is to be awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science in recognition of his outstanding contribution to agriculture and education.
Ben Gill is best known in his role as President of the National Farmers Union (NFU). He was elected President in 1998 after serving as Deputy President since 1992, following a year as Vice President. Before that he chaired the NFU’s Livestock and Wool Committee for four years. Within the NFU Ben Gill also chaired the Alternative Crops Working Party and the Long Term Strategy Group looking at the future of UK farming.
Ben Gill is also an accomplished scientist. He took A levels at the age of 16 and then spent two years working before going on to Cambridge University. This included a period at East Malling Research Station. He left Cambridge with an MA in Agriculture and worked in Australia in agricultural research. This was followed by a period in Uganda where he helped to establish a teaching farm and ran an agricultural course at a 600-pupil college. He took over running his family’s 360 acre mixed farm in Yorkshire in 1978.
In Europe, Ben Gill has represented the NFU on COPA (Committee of Agricultural Organisations in the EU) working parties and Commission and advisory committees, including the EU Sheepmeat and Goatmeat Advisory committee, of which he was Chairman until 1998. He is currently president of the Confederation of European Agriculture.
In 1996 Ben Gill received a CBE for services to agriculture.
The Honorary Degree will be awarded at a Hartpury College ceremony in the new Mark Davison Lecture Theatre at 9.45am on Wednesday 17 April 2002, following which Ben Gill will deliver a lecture on Rural Regeneration to an audience including leading members of the Gloucestershire agricultural industry.
Full oration details can be obtained from the Press Office.