Colin McDonald – Trustee

Colin McDonald brings with him a wealth of experience from Northern Ireland, where he has been a key figure in the Royal Ulster Agricultural society, in industry and with grain importers W R Barnett. Colin has been the Chief Executive of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society since 2006. He is currently responsible for delivering the RUAS’s strategic aims for a Centre of Rural Excellence at Balmoral Park, Lisburn.

For the RASC, he gave a joint paper at the 2010 conference in Edinburgh and led the strategy workshop at the 2012 conference in Zambia. Colin is a chartered civil engineer with a first class honours degree in civil engineering from Queens University Belfast. He worked for Belfast Harbour Commissioners, then consultants WDR & RT Taggart, before moving to career in agribusiness with grain importers W & R Barnett.

His experience includes industrial management, labour relations, commodity trading, technical sales and marketing, web-based sales, innovation/product development, project management and strategy. He believes that being an ambassador of agricultural best practice is what the RASC is all about – and fostering long term relationships. For him, knowledge transfer sticks by letting people discover for themselves how another has achieved similar aims to their own. He wants the RUAS to be one of the first to twin with a Commonwealth partner with a view to build a partnership.

Michael Lambert, the Honorary Secretary of the RASC says,

“Colin is a major figure in the food supply industry and has been a leader in agri-business in Ulster for many years. He will certainly bring new ideas to the RASC in cementing relationships, as well – which is one of our key aims.”

The RASC’s brief is to work principally through the independent Agricultural societies and organisations in each member state. It holds a key biennial conference, which is hosted throughout the Commonwealth – the last being in Zambia in 2012. Its strong Next Generation Programme, aimed at sponsored under 40s, organises biennial missions. Both visit different countries, and bring together delegates from across the world.

Established in 1957, the RASC is one of the oldest, most respected Commonwealth organisations. With the Princess Royal as its President, it prides itself on being a key independent voice in World Food, in addition to being a major player in guiding individuals and groups. It aims to participate in setting the agenda for agriculture in the Commonwealth. Other trustees appointed to the 13 strong Board are Next Generation representatives Will Pritchard, Louis Fell, and Anna Playfair Hannay.