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Stabiliser Cattle Company will continue to lead the beef industry forward in technology advancements and genetic development with its appointment of Stephen Fell as the new chairman, effective from 1st of December 2020. Mr Fell succeeds Robert Rook, who is retiring from the position after serving 15 years with the organisation.

“For more than 20 years, Stabiliser Cattle Company has been providing UK beef farmers with the tools to improve the profitability, efficiency and sustainability of their businesses by developing genetics that meets the needs of key players in the supply chain. Stephen will be integral in moving this work forward,” says Seth Wareing, SCC Business Manager.

Mr Fell’s father, Henry Fell, was a pioneering sheep farmer in Lincolnshire, developing the Meatlinc terminal sire, a composite breeding programme that originally comprised of five breeds. Mr Fell and his son George have continued to develop the breed using the latest technology in genetic selection as part of the drive to improve profitability for the commercial lamb producer.

“There is considerable synergy between the Meatlinc and the Stabiliser breeding programmes,” explains Mr Fell. “I look forward to my involvement with the Stabiliser breed as we continue the exciting level of genetic improvement backed up by first class data collection and analysis.”

Mr Fell studied at the Royal Agricultural College and qualified as a Chartered Surveyor whilst working for the Ministry of Agriculture. He also has experience as a farm manager from four years on a large sheep and beef enterprise in central France and nine years managing an estate in Kent. A Nuffield Scholar, Mr Fell has extensively studied the production and marketing of prime lamb in Australia and New Zealand.

Since 1989, Mr Fell has been managing director of his family’s farm near York, HR Fell & Sons Ltd, producing sheep, cattle, root crops and a free-range egg laying enterprise. He is also managing director of Lindum Seeded Turf Ltd, which grows turf, wildflower turf and green roof vegetation. He has previously been chairman of the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust, and was recently chairman of LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) for a period of eight years.

“As a farmer and experienced non-executive director, Stephen has a lifetime of driving innovation, seeking practical solutions, and enabling others to develop their potential, both within a work environment and personally,” says Mr Wareing. “These fundamental skills will help Stabiliser Cattle Company to continue to provide UK beef producers with profitable and practical solutions.”

According to Mr Fell, one of the biggest challenges the beef industry faces is meeting the needs of processors, retailers and consumers while maintaining a profitable and sustainable business.

“I am acutely aware of the need for a profitable and productive food and farming industry which is truly sustainable, and which supports a thriving rural economy. How we encourage farmers to do this, whilst improving biodiversity and moving towards net-zero emissions, is one of the great challenges facing us,” he concludes. “However, I am convinced that we can achieve this through a combination of sensible reformulated support mechanisms, sound science including advance animal genetics, and clear leadership.”