Meet the team

Bedfordia Farms’ achievements are due to the dedicated and excellent team of people working for arable, pigs and grain services. 

John Ibbett

Chairman, Bedfordia Group

A graduate in agricultural marketing and business administration from Harper Adams Agricultural College, John represents the third generation of the Ibbett family’s ownership and management of Bedfordia Farms.

From 1982 to 2002 he was Managing Director, using his expertise in agriculture combined with his commercial and environmental vision, to diversify and grow.

Now Farms’ Chairman, John has an experienced management team to run Farms on a daily basis but still is hands-on with long-term strategic decisions.

Ian Smith

MD, Bedfordia Farms

A graduate in Agriculture from Newcastle University Ian grew up on the family farm in East Yorkshire. Over the last 20 years Ian has worked for a range of large farming businesses with diverse interests such as dairy, pigs, potatoes and sugar beet, before joining Bedfordia Farms as Managing Director in 2006.

Bedfordia’s commercial and professional approach to business within a family owned and controlled structure makes for a great place to work.

I enjoy the challenge of leading the Farms team, developing our peoples knowledge and skills to improve their understanding of the businesses goals, raising expectations from themselves and others.

Oilver Martin

Arable & Grain Business Manager

Oliver started working with us on 4th October 2021, having moved his family down from Scotland where he was managing a mixed arable and livestock farm.


Oliver trained at Writtle University in Essex, following which he worked on estates in Norfolk and Hertfordshire.

Edd Sellers

Pig Production Manager

Brought up on the family farm in East Yorkshire, Edd quickly decided that he wanted to work with livestock. Graduating from Bishop Burton college of agriculture, he and his wife moved to County Cork in Southern Ireland to gain experience working on a larger farm with 1,600 sows. After five years, Edd took up a new post in Dorset with a large well-respected pig and arable business and soon become the Production Manager for pigs. In this role for ten years, Edd then moved to Bedfordia in January 2020, where he is the Pig Operations Manager.

JJ Ibbett

Estates Environmental Manager

JJ has been working for Bedfordia Farms since the age of 13, when he started working on the pig farms during school holidays. From 17 he started to work with the Arable team at Harvest and whilst studying at Harper Adams University, achieving a Foundation Degree in Agriculture. JJ has worked around the country for various farms, before taking on the role of Assistant Farm Manager for the largest UK goat dairy farm. JJ joined Bedfordia full-time in July 2016, as the Assistant Arable Manager primarily handling the day-to-day operations within the arable sector whilst managing our Countryside Schemes. In 2021 JJ’s role changed to a part-time position - Estates Environmental Business Manager - that allows him to pursue his other business enterprises while still facilitating Bedfordia Farms’ sustainability and stewardship programmes.

Sarah Hall

Senior Grain Laboratory Co-Ordinator

Sarah joined Bedfordia Farms in 2011 having worked in a range of industries. Sarah manages the grain laboratory which offers a variety of testing services, checks in loads through the weighbridge and is responsible for all TASSC audits.

Carl Hudson

Senior Grain Store Operator

With an Engineering NVQ at Bedford College and still working on his family’s mixed farm at Dean, Carl first started working for Bedfordia as an arable contractor. In 2019 he joined the Grain Services, working full time as the Grain Store Co-ordinator. Now Carl heads up the grain store team as Senior Grain Store Operator.

Julie White

Farms Business/Administrator

Julie’s career has been varied covering anything from banking and local government, through to hospitality and training. Joining Bedfordia in January 2019, just prior to the COVID outbreak, Julie has had a lot to contend with but her diverse experience has meant that she has settled into the Farm Secretary and Administrator role quickly, enjoying the variety the position brings.

Outside of work Julie likes to take photographs on her morning runs/walks and also has a keen interest in the health benefits of aloe vera and holistic healing, being a Level 2 Reiki Practitioner!

Jane Bloomfield

Director of Business Support

Jane first joined Bedfordia Group in 2013 as Head of Human Resources. In her current role, she provides business support to the Property and Agriculture operating businesses, Chairman and Directors by co-ordinating the deployment of resources and managing projects in order to increase value and achieve the Group’s set objectives.

Bedfordia Farms Board

  • John Ibbett | Chairman, Bedfordia Group

  • Ian Smith | MD, Bedfordia Farms

  • Charles Whitaker | Founding partner, Brown & Co

  • Richard Crane | Audit and Advisory Partner, BKL

  • Terry Wilding | Financial Controller & Company Secretary

Another day in Bedfordshire

Tom Atkinson

On a sunny July day last year Tom Atkinson joined Bedfordia Farms’ arable team as our Arable Student Placement for 2021/22.

Brought up on his family’s farm in North Yorkshire near Malton (15 miles from York), Tom was out helping with the livestock – pigs and sheep and the arable side of things, from an early age. So while studying for a BSc in Agriculture at Harper Adams, Tom took up the opportunity to head south for the summer to find out what it’s like to work on a larger arable and pig farm.

During the lull before harvest , his first couple of weeks were filled with odd jobs such as preparing and servicing the machinery and filling in potholes in the roads and tracks around the farm. The temporary harvest recruits arrived around soon after and by the end of July harvesting started. Initially tasked with corn carting, Tom soon moved on to cultivation and straw carting, even spending a day or two helping in the grain store with Carl.

‘During this time I was mainly working with Graham and Fred on field cultivation, which I really enjoyed.  It was mostly minimum tillage and direct drilling using a Horsch Avatar and 6250 JD. At one stage I cultivated a 150-hectare block of wheat, which kept me busy for a while!’  

He continued to work long hours helping with preparations for drilling throughout September, applying granular herbicide Avadex (to combat black grass) with the Bateman crop sprayer and drilled until the beginning of November. 

Once the equipment was cleaned, serviced and put away Tom moved over to work with the pig teams – Highfields and Arno breeding units and Twinwoods finishing unit.

‘It’s been great working with Edd and his team, everyone has been very friendly and helpful – its hard work but I’ve learnt a lot. It’s amazing how much there is to take in as you have to be on the ball all the time, especially in the breeding unit – constantly vigilant and looking out for any changes in the piglets.’

2022 started with Tom learning the art of hedge cutting with Graham and Tommy on a JD 6250 and McConnell hedge cutter.

Tom will be with us for another harvest in 2022 as his contract runs until the end of September 22.

When he hasn’t been working Tom's enjoyed playing rugby for local team Sharnbrook and meeting up with mates.

‘I’m really enjoying my time with Bedfordia Farms, everyone has been great, encouraging me to learn new skills and making me feel one of the team.  It’s difficult to pick out a couple of highlights as I’ve enjoyed most things I’ve done, but if I was pushed I’d say learning how to drive the sprayer and working with the pigs.’

‘I’m passionate about farming and can’t see myself ever being away for this business as I think losing my home farming experience, my degree and what I’ve done with Bedfordia,  would be a waste. I think it’s important to support the farming fraternity, especially when the industry is so fragile and going through so much change.’

Kerri Coffey

Initially struggling with her degree at Harper Adams, with hard work and determination Kerri achieved exam and assignment results above 90% and was awarded a combined placement with AHDB and Bedfordia within the pig Industry.
 
‘In my first assignment, I received a low mark and was distraught, but I sought help from my lecturers and academic support and have been flying ever since”, says BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Animal Science student Kerri, who adds that, “I put everything into my degree, because I started my studies at 21, I think it means more to me to do well as I had to complete a Level 2 and Level 3 Extended Diploma before coming to Harper. A consequence of being too interested in milking and calving cows than studying for my GCSE’s!’
 
‘However, my educational scenic route has provided me with fantastic opportunities to gain experience working on dairy herds up to 1500, learning how to make cheese and ice-cream through farm diversification and looking after a herd in France to being a quality assurance auditor in a poultry factory. Not forgetting my travels that have taken me across Europe, the Americas and Australia… but I can’t quite put my finger on whether Guatemala or Panama was my favourite!’
 
Starting her placement with Bedfordia in 2021, Kerri spent time working at the breeding and finishing farms in Bedfordshire. Kerri’s placement with Bedfordia realised her ambition to work in the pig industry. She said: ‘I was very excited to be completing my placement year with AHDB and Bedfordia. I gained experience in practical and technical aspects of the pig industry, carrying out trials on pig health, welfare and nutrition: I built up protocols, doing the necessary research and writing up literature reviews.’
 
Outside of her studies, Kerri is an active member of the universities’ student body. “This year I set up the British Society of Animal Science Harper ambassador team. We worked alongside Deputy Vice Chancellor Michael Lee to increase BSAS members within Harper undergrads to help them gain global contacts and receive support from leading industry professionals or renowned researchers. 



 

Carl Hudson

With an Engineering NVQ at Bedford College and still working on his family’s mixed farm at Dean, Carl first started working for Bedfordia as an arable contractor. In 2019 he joined the Grain Services, working full time as the Grain Store Co-ordinator.

First thing on a Monday morning, Carl checks the temperature of the wheat in the flat stores with a probe to make sure all is well before turning his attention to what’s booked in for...