David Stanley is the founding member of Stanley & Son Limited, a family company owning "Yoani" a 2,042-hectare dryland farm near Kiu in southeast Kenya. The farm is in the drought prone agro-ecozone 4 with erratic rainfall varying between 300mm to 800mm per annum.
"Yoani" has developed grazing systems that allow native grasses to reach their productivity potential. Milk production financed the development from virgin bushveld to a farm that sells 2,500 kgs milk per day from Holstein Friesian and F1 hybrid cows. It runs a stud herd of Boran beef cattle, commercial beef from crossbreds and a herd of camels producing milk for sale. "Yoani" focuses on selectively breeding cattle that are efficient producers suited to the dry environment of the farm.
Stanley & Son Limited is acutely aware of the need to conserve the environment. It practices and invests in water and soil conservation and has set aside one third of "Yoani" for preservation of steep slopes and natural forest.
David completed a six-month Nuffield Farming Scholarship to UK in 1965 with the study topic of 'Animal breeding systems and applied genetics.' He was the first farmer in Kenya to import progeny tested semen frozen in liquid nitrogen. Nuffield plays a very big part in David’s farming career.
He served as Chairman of the Livestock Committee and the Tender Committee of the Board of the Kenya Meat Commission that rehabilitated the derelict factory. He currently consults for three farming companies.
In 1959, David received an Honours Diploma in Agriculture from Roseworthy Agricultural College, South Australia, (Dux Student: First, Second and Third Year; Gramp Hardy Smith Memorial Prize for best all-round student.)
David and his late wife Jane have two sons, both agriculturalists. Robin the younger with his wife Anita has managed “Yoani” efficiently for 15 years. William and Ellie work in Zimbabwe on a foremost tea estate.