TWO LEADING figures in the world of agriculture were honoured in the Queen's New Year Honours List.

Dr Tina Barsby, chief executive of Cambridge-based crop science organisation NIAB, was awarded an OBE for services to agricultural science and biotechnology.

A plant geneticist, she is well known for her scientific achievements and significant experience in the agricultural crop sector. She has been chief executive of NIAB since 2008, steering it to be the UK’s fastest growing crop science organisation.

Jim Godfrey, chairman, said: "Tina is an outstanding and inspiring scientist who has spent her career ensuring that effective and innovative crop research is translated into practice across farms in the UK and, latterly, in other countries across the world. Everyone at NIAB is delighted and proud that her work is being recognised in this way."

David Clarke, a founding member of Red Tractor Assurance, was awarded a CBE.

The scheme was launched in 2000 to restore the reputation of British food and farming after a number of food scares. Mr Clarke was it’s first chief executive and led the scheme for 17 years.

He led Red Tractor from nothing to the UK’s leading assurance scheme with 46,000 farm business members and £14bn of food bearing the Red Tractor logo.

The post was the final piece of a 50-year career spanning food and farming which saw Mr Clarke established as one of the UK’s leading authorities on food assurance.

He first worked in manufacturing in the Wall’s Meat Company before a 22-year stint in food service with the Forte Group in technical support and supply chain management roles.

Armed with a small budget and a handful of staff, Mr Clarke grew Red Tractor to a business built on transparency, honesty and reliability.

He overcame government bureaucracy, industry politics and major media events such as the horsemeat scandal while convincing farmers, processors and retailers of the value of the Red Tractor logo.

Mr Clarke said: "The future – especially Brexit – will bring new challenges and opportunities for the Red Tractor team but I am confident they will be up to the task.

"Anything I have achieved was only possible with the help and support of the team and a wide range of colleagues across the industry."