United Kingdom Management Profiles

Formed: 1947, Website: http://nuffieldscholar.org/

Chris Graf Grote – Chairman
Chris Graf Grote

Email: christoph.grafgrote@gmail.com

Chris was elected as Chairman of Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust in November 2020. He started his farming career in 1976 growing and packing vegetables for supermarkets in the Fens and later became tenant farmer on the East Coast of Norfolk, where he lives. He is a 1989 Nuffield Scholar, having studied "Poland and the Soviet Union - Are there opportunities for the UK Food and Farming Industry?” Following his study, he was the initiator and co-founder of the Nuffield Russia Trust, undertook numerous EU PHARE and TACIS projects involving Russia, Ukraine and most Central European countries and set up a farming tenancy in former East Germany.

With two partners, he founded in 1995 what is now Spearhead International Ltd, farming some 85,000ha in four Central European countries and the UK. Spearhead was sold in 2015 to a private equity fund. Chris has retired from farming but continues to provide international and family business advice and mentoring on agricultural acquisitions, enterprise restructuring and career training.

Mike Vacher – Director
Mike Vacher

Email: director@nuffieldscholar.org

Mike became the Director of the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust in the United Kingdom in 2013. He is responsible to the Nuffield Trustees for managing the unique Nuffield scheme of study and personal development in the United Kingdom and its involvement with Nuffield International.

He comes with a lifelong commitment to rural affairs and agriculture at large, as well as the experience gained from a successful military career, followed by seven years as Bursar of large independent school charities.

During his time in the British Army he travelled extensively, served in Sierra Leone, Jordan, Hong Kong and Europe as well as visiting USA, Canada and New Zealand and working in international organisations. He was Deputy Commandant and Chief of Staff at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where he set up ‘The Sandhurst Foundation’ as an alumni for the 60,000 officers and staff with the greater purpose of fostering leadership worldwide.

At two large UK independent schools he was responsible for all aspects of administration for large charities including their proper business management, statutory compliance and governance.

Mike is an accomplished horseman, who has been Chef d’Equipe for international 3 Day Eventing teams and continues to serve as an active British Eventing and international FEI steward.

The NFST office runs from his small farm in the heart of Somerset on the Blackdown Hills, where he lives with his wife who acts as Director’s Assistant. They have one son who is a chartered surveyor and oversees a number of the home projects!

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