PRESS RELEASE – FCN appoints new Chief Executive Officer

FCN is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Jude McCann as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Jude will take up this position in January 2020. He will take over from Charles Smith, who will retire in December 2019 after eight years at the helm. 

Having grown up on a small family farm in mid-Ulster, Northern Ireland, Jude has significant expertise within agriculture and, in particular, the farm support sector. He has spent the last seven years as Chief Executive of Rural Support – a charity which provides support to farmers and their families in Northern Ireland.

His academic experience has provided him with a global perspective of agriculture and expertise, particularly related to welfare and social issues in farming communities. This includes his PhD examining the social impacts of subsidy reforms in New Zealand and his recent Nuffield Farming scholarship, in which he examined how farm support organisations can help secure farmers’ resilience in a changing world.

Jude said: “I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to Charles Smith for the amazing work he has done at FCN. Under him, FCN is an organisation that has gone from strength to strength and has moved on from merely responding to farmers in crisis into an organisation which offers a much more proactive support service that helps farmers to become more resilient. It is a huge honour for me to accept this position and help lead the charity through what will undoubtedly be a very challenging and uncertain time for British farming.”

Mark Suthern, FCN Chairman of Trustees, said: “We were overwhelmed by the high quality of applications we received during the recruitment process, but it was Jude’s experience as a proven leader and his strong understanding of the pressures faced by British farmers that helped us reach our decision. The board of trustees is extremely confident that he will continue to build upon the great work done by Charles Smith, as FCN enters its 25th year of service to the farming community.”

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