January 2021

We were very saddened to hear of the death of Professor John Hillman, a longstanding member of the Commercial Farmers Group and one of the UK’s top scientists.

A full obituary has been posted by the James Hutton Institute, but suffice to say he was a giant in his field with a career spanning the University of Nottingham, School of Agriculture at Sutton Bonington, University of Glasgow, the Scottish Crop Research Institute, Visiting Professor at the Universities of Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and a Member of Court of the University of Abertay Dundee.

He was Chair of the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Sector Panel from 1994-1995, for the UK Technology Foresight Programme, and Chair of the Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry Sector Panel from 1995-1997. He also served as a member of the board of the BioIndustry Association, chairman of the Industrial Biotechnology Group, member of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council Committee for Research and Knowledge Transfer, member of the Scottish NFU Regulation Working Group, and member of the Angus, Dundee and Perth Employer Support Committee for Reservists.

Members of the Commercial Farmers group paid tribute to John, calling him an advocate of the industry who was never afraid to speak out on behalf of commercial agriculture even at risk of being seen as a maverick by his peers – “You do not meet many John Hillmans in academia”…

John is survived by Dr Sandra Hillman, his wife of 54 years, and their two sons Robert and Edmund; we send them our thoughts and condolences.