Tributes have been paid to a farmer and AHDB beef and lamb board member who died suddenly at his farm.
Conor Colgan was known as a pioneer of ‘lean farming’ techniques and ran a mixed farm with a pedigree herd of Salers plus combinable crops as part of a family partnership in Northumberland.
He died after collapsing at the farm on Friday (November 27).
Originally from Northern Ireland, Mr Colgan set up the Leader-funded Aidansfield Research Farm, a precision beef facility for the purposes of breed improvement, grassland management and feeding trials, focusing on accuracy driven measurement to maximise output and reduce carbon footprint.
As well as working with AHDB, Mr Colgan enjoyed roles within the Institute of Agricultural Management and his local NFU branch.
In a joint statement, AHDB’s beef and lamb board chairman Adam Quinney and former beef and lamb strategy director Will Jackson said: “We had the honour of working alongside Conor for a number of years and his commitment and passion to the beef and lamb industry was simply second to none.
“A man of tremendous character and dedication to his role on the board, Conor made no hesitation to challenge on behalf of his industry and always put forward his opinion. With an interest in research and technology, Conor hoped to help lead the industry forward and fulfil its potential, evident by his own unit in Northumberland which is one of the most impressive beef and lamb units we have ever come across.
“Conor also never failed to shout as loud as he could about his industry, doing numerous interviews for both national and local media – always keen to show how farming was part of the solution against climate change.
His determination and contribution will be sorely missed by all at AHDB and the wider industry. Our thoughts are with his loved ones.”
Nigel Scollan, professor of animal science, Queen’s University Belfast, also paid tribute.
He said: “His interest in research and science and how it could be practically used on farm was always very impressive and had led Conor to partner with research institutes which would ultimately help the industry as a whole.”