LAWRENCE ALDERSON came into the international arena from a small family farm in the North Yorkshire Dales 


NEW: Biography: published 2019 (see Books page)

Lawrence Alderson CBE MA(Cantab) CBiol FRBI FRAgS MSB                              

I was born in Teesdale into a Yorkshire Dales farming family which had populated Swaledale, Stainmore (Yorkshire / Westmorland) and Teesdale since the Viking occupation of that region of the Pennines. I attended Barnard Castle School and Cambridge University, read for a degree in agricultural science and continued post-graduate studies in education and genetics, being awarded an MA. I was President of Cambridge University Agricultural Society.

I lectured in agricultural colleges with special interest in animal breeding and business management, and became head of department. I acquired experience as a land agent and in estate accountancy, and meanwhile established my own company (Countrywide Livestock Ltd) which developed an international consultancy. I have been an international authority on the conservation of animal genetic resources for many years.

I was awarded the CBE for services to conservation in 2004.

Senior positions                                                                                                       

I was Chairman of Countrywide Livestock Ltd (CLL) from its formation until 2020. I have been President of the White Park Cattle Society since 1988, Trustee and Founder President of Rare Breeds International since 1991, and Principal of Livestock Improvement Services since 2002.

Formerly I held office in RBST as Chairman (2003-2007), Executive Director (1990-2000) and Technical (Scientific) Consultant (1973-1990); and was a member of Defra's UK National Steering Committee on Farm Animal Genetic Resources (FAnGR) (2003-2006). A fuller list of the positions I have held is shown below.


I have long experience in the fields of genetics and animal breeding, animal genetic resources and sustainable agriculture. 
I have judged livestock at most of the major Shows in the UK, including at Harrogate (Great Yorkshire), Builth Wells (Royal Welsh), Balmoral (Royal Ulster) and Stoneleigh.
I am an international authority on the genetic conservation of domestic livestock, and the founder or co-founder of several national 'rare breeds' organisations. 
I am experienced in working with governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, and have been an invited plenary speaker at numerous international congresses. 
I am the author and/or editor of several books, including the standard work on genetic conservation, and of many scientific and technical papers.

Main positions held:
AGRI Editorial Board (FAO); Biotechnology for Biodiversity Platform (Europe); British Angora Goat Society (Vice-Chairman); British Caspian Horse Trust (Trustee); British Milksheep Society (Chairman); British Spotted Pony Society (President); Combined Flock Book (Chairman); EEC study on endangered pig breeds (Leader); EEC study on endangered domestic ruminants; European Livestock Association (Council); Grazing Animals Project (Council); International Caspian Society (Chairman); Kelmscott Rare Breeds Foundation (USA) (Director); Livestock Improvement Services (Principal); National Cattle Association (Council); National Sheep Association (Council); National Consultative Committee (Defra); National Steering Committee for FAnGR (Defra); Ovine Semen Archive (Chairman); PigBioDiv Management Board (Europe) (Chairman); RBST (Founder, Technical (Scientific) Consultant, Executive Director, Chairman); Rare Breeds International (Founding President and Trustee); RAgS (Fellow); Semen Archive Management Board of NSP (Defra); Society of Biology (Chartered Biologist);The Ark (Editor); Traditional Breeds Meat Marketing Scheme (Chairman); Traditional Livestock Foundation (Trustee); Westdown Lamb Ltd (Director); Westwater Farm Partners (Chairman); White Park Cattle Society (Chairman); White Park Cattle Society (President)