Orion’s Board of Directors
The board consists of seven farming Members and two non-farming directors led by our Chairman Guy Hildred. The board are extremely pro-active, meeting regularly both as a full board and various sub-committees.
Guy farms in partnership with his family about 800 acres near Wallingford. He is a director of HBH farming, a contract farming operation that farms for three founding neighbouring farmers, which along with other contracts now farms some 6500 acres of arable and 1500 acres of grass for sheep and suckler cows. Guy has been farming for 30 years, since returning from industry as an engineer after taking an engineering degree. He is FACTS and BASIS trained. He is in another partnership with an investor in a Gas to Grid AD plant (2 MW equivalent) that uses agricultural products and by-products from his and neighbouring farms. Guy has 2 children with the eldest being a scuba diving instructor in the Caribbean and the youngest doing the same in Scotland. In his spare time he is an enthusiastic if erratic golfer.
Andrew is married with 3 children. A third generation tenant farmer, he belongs to a family farming partnership, milking 650 dairy cows at Eaton, near Abingdon. Cropping is mainly grass and maize, along with a small area of cereals. The partnership also finishes all 400 beef cattle surplus to the dairy each year. The partnership was a member of Chesham Farm Group, prior to its amalgamation with Oxfordshire Farmers to form Orion. Andrew was a member of the Orion feed subgroup for 2 years before becoming a director in 2010.
Tom is from a Scottish farming family, whose Father moved to Fairford, Gloucestershire in 1969, and now farms 540Ha the majority of which are combinable crops with a herd of 50 Suckler cows supplying the local butcher. Diversifications in the past have included running a mini bus business for 20 years and now a farm plastic recycling service, along with some liveries. Married with 3 children, Tom’s wife Suzie works for R.A.B.I. in the South West.
Alister comes from a farming background; his father was a Member of the Group in the 80s and 90s. Alister went to Harper Adams where he studied Agriculture and has a Masters in Business Administration from Derby University.
Nick is a tenant farmer on 850 acres, 8 miles south west of Oxford. Principally growing combinable crops on 700 acres, he also finishes around 80 Aberdeen Angus cross steers for Waitrose on 83 acres with the remainder down to Higher Level Stewardship and woodland.
Third generation tenant farmer milking 350 cows with total farmed area at 2300 acres with a mix of FBT, contract farmed and owned land. Phil trained as a civil engineer then did an MBA in advanced farm management before returning to the family farm 15 years ago, he has since done a John Edgar scholarship. He is supported by his wife Jo and two young daughters. His interests include skiing, golf, badminton and tennis plus more recently running after children on ponies.
Richard is married with two children. Since completing an HND at Harper Adams and Shuttleworth (1992), he has been farming in partnership at Lacey Green nr. Princes Risborough. The partnership were long time members of Chesham Farmers before the creation of Orion Farmers. The business currently consists of a 350 Holstein Dairy herd plus followers supplying Arla and finishes 100 beef cattle per year. The farm is around 1050 acres which is approx. 50% owned. 500 acres are in milling wheat and rape, the remainder is in grass and maize. Currently vice chairman of the Chiltern Hills Agricultural Society and a keen member of European Dairy Farmers, Richard joined Orion as a director in 2011.
Steve is our ‘non-farming’ board member, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge from the wider business community. Steve is currently working with a broadband communications company looking to accelerate the expansion of its network. Before that he was Chief Executive of WiSpire Ltd, a broadband company based in Norfolk, and also non-executive Deputy Chairman of Six Degrees Group, a national data communications business. Prior to this he was Chief Executive of Solaris Mobile, Chief Executive of Kingston Communications plc and worked in BT plc managing all of the group’s activities in satellite and video communications. He also previously served as Deputy Chairman of SpiriTel plc and was formerly a Non-Executive Director of SMG plc. He also occupied the posts of Chairman of CBI Regional Council, Yorkshire & Humber, and Non-executive Director of Urban Regeneration Company in Hull.
Nick is a partner in a family farming business based in East Berkshire. He runs the arable enterprise which consists of around 1000 acres owned and tenanted, with a further 2300 acres on contract farming arrangements within the locality. Cropping is based around high quality milling wheat, oilseed rape, beans, oats and barley. He qualified from Seale-Hayne with a degree in agriculture and has since completed his BASIS and FACTS qualifications, as well as attending the Worshipful Company of Farmers advanced business management course at Cirencester. Married to Vicki with two young daughters, in his spare time Nick is a keen follower of sport, particularly cricket.