East Anglia: Ex-CLA adviser Rob’s ready for new challenge at NFU East office

FARMING is facing major environmental challenges but farmers are well-placed to meet them, says National Farmers’ Union (NFU) East Anglia’s new environment adviser.

Rob Wise is looking forward to tackling key issues such as water quality, flood defence and agri-environment schemes.

“To be working on such issues for NFU members is very exciting at this important time of CAP reform and fiscal budget constraints,” he said.

“Farmers need to ensure government is prioritising their needs in food production and beyond and we have a really good story to tell on how farmers are delivering for the environment.”

Rob joins the NFU from the CLA, where he worked as a regional adviser. He grew up on his family’s arable farm in Cavendish, Suffolk, and studied agriculture at Newcastle University, before completing an MSc in agricultural economics at Michigan State University.

“I’m delighted to be joining the NFU East Anglia regional team,” he said.

Five years of policy work in Washington DC followed his stint at Michigan State University, first with the Executive Office of the President setting budgets for the US farm subsidy and export programmes, and then with the US Senate Agriculture Committee, helping draft the 1990 Farm Bill.

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In 1991 he returned to the UK as adviser to the Director General at UKASTA, now AIC. In 1996 he went back to the farm, while continuing to work as a government relations adviser to agriculture sector clients.

“My career has encompassed all aspects agricultural policy, but over the years has focused more and more on environmental issues,” he said.

“I’ve also served as chairman of the NFU’s Stowmarket and Sudbury branch during this time, so I’m well aware of what is important to NFU members.”