Richard Young is a past editor of the journal New Farmer & Grower (now called Organic Farming) and chairman of the Soil Association’s Symbol Committee, which first drew up detailed organic food and farming standards in the 1980s.
He led the Soil Association’s campaign against the misuse of antibiotics in agriculture for 17 years, authoring and co-authoring a large number of reports and briefing papers detailing how and why antibiotic overuse in livestock production is a threat not only to human health but also to farmers’ long-term ability to treat infectious disease in their animals. He has also written widely on issues relating to agriculture, including the underlying causes of bovine tuberculosis and Johne’s Disease, the importance of grass and grazing animals, the true cost of food systems and the importance of small abattoirs for local farming communities. As policy director for the Sustainable Food Trust he is lead author on a number of reports and briefing papers and plays a leading role in projects, campaigns and events.
As an organic, 100% grass-fed cattle and sheep farmer, Richard Young and his sister Rosamund (author of The Secret Lie of Cows) manage their 390 acres on the Cotswolds with a high emphasis on animal contentment and nature conservation.