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John Beckett 1935 - 2016

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of John Beckett after a long and distinguished career in the agricultural industry.
John was a highly respected Director of Belton Cheese and recently retired as Chairman of the family business.

Away from Belton Cheese, John has been a champion for the dairy industry.  He has been a past President of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF), Chairman of Cheshire County Landowners Association and in 1977 he became the Chairman of NWF Group for 11 years.

In 2012 John was presented with the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers’ Princess Royal Award.  The honour was made for his outstanding services to the industry. The following year John received the National Agricultural Award from the RASE.

The transformation of Genus is probably one of John’s greatest achievements. In 1994 John was appointed Chairman and 7 years later the Genus business became the biggest breeding company in the world, trading in 70 countries. 
Despite wearing many hats, John’s passion was to help young people acquire the business knowledge that he felt was lacking in some parts of the industry, believing that if farmers are to compete on more equal terms they need to fully embrace the science of management.
To this end John established the MBA Agrifarm Charitable Fund, administered by The Worshipful Company of Farmers, which would enable enterprising farmers to study for an MBA alongside executives from other sectors at the Cranfield School of Management.  This is an initiative that will pay dividends for generations to come. 

John was also past Chairman of The 300 Cow Club, Farmhouse Cheesemakers Ltd, Goodwins Cheese Ltd and M K Richmond Ltd John Deere dealership. He was a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Farmers and Honorary Fellow of Royal Agricultural Society of England.

Justin Beckett paid tribute to his father saying “My father’s passing is a huge loss for all the family and those who worked with him in the business, but we take comfort from the tributes and letters that have poured in, he was a hugely loved and respected man who will be sorely missed by everyone who was lucky enough to ever meet him”.

A Service of Thanksgiving is to be held at St. Alkmunds’s Church, Whitchurch, Shropshire at 12 noon on Friday 18th March 2016.

January 2016

  John Beckett
Handmade on the Farm
Belton Farm | Whitchurch | Shropshire | SY13 1JD | T: 01948 662125 | F: 01948 662269 | E: info@beltoncheese.co.uk