Malcolm Thomas MBE ARAgS has been elected as the new chairman of R.A.B.I – the first Welshman to hold the position in the charity’s 156-year history.
Malcolm (pictured above left) took over the helm following this week’s AGM at The Manor Hotel in Weston-on-the-Green, Oxford, which was attended by more than 200 members of staff, committee members and supporters. He replaces Cornishman Chris Riddle (pictured above right), who is stepping down as a trustee after 10 years.
Malcolm, a farmer’s son from Llangynog in Carmarthen, first became a R.A.B.I trustee in 2011. He is a rural client manager for JCP Solicitors and has worked in many high profile and influential roles for the Welsh Office, NFU England and Wales and NFU Cymru. He is a life member of the Young Farmers Club and was awarded an MBE in 2012 in recognition of his services to agriculture.
James Orme, retired solicitor and former regular and Territorial Army officer from Somerset, becomes deputy chairman of R.A.B.I, a role previously jointly filled by Malcolm and William Cumber.
New chairman Malcolm Thomas said: “It is an honour and a privilege to serve as chairman of this great organisation. R.A.B.I exists to help farming people in hardship and I want to spread the word throughout England and Wales that we are here to help. The general farming situation is something we are all concerned about, which means R.A.B.I’s work is as vital now as it ever has been. We are here not just for those of retirement age, but also for the working farmer.”