Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes

Chairman

Julian started his working life on a small family run apple farm in Biddenden. In the early days of farm diversification a vineyard was planted which is now the oldest established vineyard in Kent and continuously run in the UK. In the late 70’s further product development led to the introduction of cider and apple juice marketed under the Biddenden brand. Julian runs Biddenden Vineyards alongside his wife Sally and son Tom, Julian’s other sons, Sam and Will, also work in the viticultural area of agriculture. They are past winners of the English wine of the Year competition and Camra Cider of year. He is a former Chairman of English Wine Producers, the Ashford and Tenterden tourism association, and has sat on the board of Produced in Kent. He was also voted Kent Food and Drink Hero 2016 by Kent Life. Julian has a keen interest in the showground having exhibited at the Kent County Show continually for more than 40 years. He believes it to be an important shop window for the county; connecting agriculture and the countryside with those that live around it.

Jan Loraine

Jan Loraine

Vice Chair

Jan is a Maid of Kent, growing up in Gillingham and educated at Rainham Mark Grammar School. She has recently taken early retirement after 39 years working for Barclays. The majority of her career was spent working as a Relationship Manager within the Bank’s Agricultural Department across the South East. Jan has attended the Kent County Show for many years both in a professional and personal capacity and has volunteered as a steward at the Living Land event. Her hobbies include walking, travel and theatre.

Hugh Summerfield

Hugh Summerfield

Finance Director

Though from a farming family, Hugh turned to the City to train as a Chartered Accountant after gaining a degree in Monetary Economics. His period during Articles and subsequent years at Ernst & Young, which concentrated on the subject of auditing often publicly listed international and national companies, provided a perfect platform to qualify as an auditor. The associated taxation experience, together with exposure to Internal Control Systems, could not have been more appropriate to undertake a career in the profession. Hugh now acts as a Consultant to his own client portfolio and as a representative to other local Chartered Accountant practices in the County. He is a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, and a registered member and a former senior partner in Finn Kelsey Chapman, as well as Wilkins Kennedy. He holds a number of Trusteeships including The Canterbury Festival, The National Fruit Show and those on behalf of individuals and families. His hobbies include countryside pursuits and he is a member of The National Trust.

Nick Bolas

Nick Bolas

Director

Nick has made horse health his career. He owns two horses, and his interests include natural horsemanship. Following a biochemistry degree and D.Phil he left academia to join a small business developing bespoke MRI systems for human and research imaging. In 2000, with two business partners, he founded Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging Ltd to develop the world’s only MRI scanner for the standing sedated horse. Nick guided the company through its formative years with both technical and executive management, and his work continues today improving equine diagnostic imaging. Nick has long been a steward for the Kent County Show and other horse shows and has been Chair of the equine committee since 2018.

Sarah Gaines

Sarah Gaines

Director

Sarah is a Partner at Brachers LLP specialising in commercial and agricultural land. Sarah has been a regular supporter of the Kent County Show, Ploughing Matches and other agricultural events in the county. She grew up in East Kent and has been living and working in Maidstone for more than 20 years. Now settled in Headcorn with her husband and two very sporty children she can regularly be found on the side lines of local club and county cricket, hockey, and rugby. She is passionate about supporting rural business to make the most of their heritage, opportunities for innovation and succession planning.

Neil Lakeland

Neil Lakeland

Director

Neil is a marketing and communications professional, with significant experience in the charity and not-for-profit sectors. For a number of years, he successfully led the marketing team at Hadlow College, gaining both contacts in, and knowledge of, the land-based sector. Married with two school-age children, in addition to his role as a Director of KCAS, Neil is employed by a research charity in London and volunteers locally with a road safety charity to coach people through their advanced driving test. Neil has long been a supporter of KCAS and the Kent County Show, and one year had to leave the show very promptly to attend the birth of one of his children!

Stephanie Matthews

Stephanie Matthews

Director

Stephanie is a Kent lady born and bred, a young farmer and horse rider as a teenager. She began work in the insurance industry in the City of London and has a son and daughter. Her career in Kent covers sixteen years as a Legal Executive before joining Produced in Kent as Company Secretary becoming the organisation's Manager until 2019. Her strategic experience brings a broad knowledge of local food, running a membership organisation and event management skills which she hopes will add value to the KCAS. Stephanie's interests include travelling, keeping fit, gardening, the arts, cooking and rural life.

Claire Seymour

Claire Seymour

Director

Claire is a Director of a family-founded specialist fruit and vine tractor and machinery business just outside Cranbrook. She enjoys being a part of the fruit growing (and more recently vineyard) industry and is an active member and trustee of the Marden Fruit Show Society, as well as supporting various industry events and groups including the NextGen Fruit Group (previously the Under Forties Fruit Growers). Having three children, nearly all teenagers, the Weald of Kent Young Farmers club and the YFC community is also a keen part of her spare time.

Matt Cullen

Matt Cullen

Director

East Kent born, growing up just outside of Canterbury on the family farm. Matt joined young farmers at the age of 11, following in the footsteps of his parents who were both young farmers. After leaving school he took on the family farm and started up a contracting business. Matt is now the 5th generation of Cullen’s farming. They were a mixed farm for many years, but for the last 7 years have just had a pedigree herd of longhorn cattle, which he shows and breeds. He also manages a herd of white park cattle as well. Matt has a young daughter who keeps him busy, and she is set on being a farmer like her Dad. Matt joined the livestock committee at the Kent County Show in 2017, became a council member the same year and is now in his second year as Livestock Chairman. The livestock and farming community is a big part of his life which he hopes to add value to the show with. His hobbies include, walking, countryside pursuits, travel and ploughing matches.

Jon Booth

Jon Booth

Co-opted Director

Jon grew up on a small holding in north Kent and after a stint of working in London, he joined Lambert and Foster in 2014, a long established and well-known firm of Land Agents. Now a Director of both Lambert and Foster and Bloomfields, a firm of Chartered Town Planners, Jon advises clients on a range rural professional matters, including valuation, property management and more recently, environmental stewardship schemes. Jon is passionate about helping farmers navigate the challenges the industry presently faces and believes KCAS has an important role to play in supporting the farming community and championing its successes. Outside of work, Jon is kept busy with two young daughters but can be found on the hockey or cricket field when time allows!

Alex Cornwallis

Alex Cornwallis

Co-opted Director

Alex has a rich Kentish family history with his Great Grandfather being one of the early President and Chairman of the Kent County Agricultural Society in the early 1900’s. Alex is now a Director of the well-known regional Land Agency Firm BTF Partnership that have offices in Challock, Canterbury and Heathfield and helps front the Agency side of the business. Alex has gained a wealth of knowledge, experience and contacts over the past 13 years having been involved locally within the farming fraternity, clubs and societies. He is a keen sportsman and is still heavily involved in local clubs such as Cranbrook Rugby Club and the Band of Brothers Cricket Club. He can also often be found on the golf course.

Jamie McGrorty

Jamie McGrorty

Co-opted Director

Having joined regional farming magazine South East Farmer in 1996, Jamie is a well-known name in the farming industry. Becoming director in 2001 and then Publisher in 2020, Jamie has been responsible for launching new publications such as Farm Machinery in 2002 and Vineyard Magazine in 2018, as well as spearheading one of the latest additions to the show calendar at the Kent Showground, being the Vineyard & Winery show which takes place every November.