Dr Tina Barsby is the winner of the 2016 Farmers Club Cup, presented annually to an individual or organisation that has made an exceptional contribution to British agriculture.
“Since 2008 Tina has been Chief Executive of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in Cambridge, with its 11 regional centres and 220 employees, overseeing transformational work there to ensure it is a centre of enormous importance for British agriculture in the coming years,” Farmers Club Chairman Richard Butler commented at the Club’s annual House of Lords Luncheon, hosted by His Grace the Duke of Montrose, where the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Mark Walport delivered a powerful address and fielded a wide range of questions from members of the Club.
Dr Barsby had overseen NIAB’s merger with The Arable Group (TAG), making it a centre of excellence for all those involved in arable farming, Mr Butler continued.
“NIAB has become a world-class crop science facility, at the forefront of genetics, variety trialling and seeds work, playing a crucial role in driving forward improvements in crop varieties for UK agriculture.”
Mr Butler particularly commended her skills in knowledge transfer. “You have a very great gift for taking complicated scientific work and translating it into a form that any of us can understand.”
A plant geneticist, Dr Barsby has extensive experience in plant biotechnology and applied plant science, spanning both academic and commercial research in the agricultural crop sector, including 18 years with Groupe Limagrain in the UK, France and North America before that. She has also worked as a manager at the BBSRC.
Dr Barsby has published an extensive list of scientific papers, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Biology, a governor of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge and an Associate Member of the All Party Parliamentary Group looking at Science and Technology in Agriculture.