Jonathan Statham MA VetMB DCHP MRCVS

Chief Executive

Jonathan Statham graduated from Cambridge Veterinary School in 1996. He is a cattle vet and partner in Bishopton Veterinary Group, a 35 vet practice in Ripon, North Yorkshire (a member of XL Vets) and is Director and Chief Executive of RAFT solutions Ltd (an innovative veterinary research, consultancy and knowledge exchange company).

He is Past-President of the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) and the Yorkshire Veterinary Society and has sat on the GB ‘Cattle Health and Welfare Group’ (CHAWG), the Veterinary Policy Group (VPG) of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and is a past director of Cattle Health Certification Standards (CHeCS). He is an examiner for the University of Liverpool, member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Advanced Practitioner Panel, a member of the Nottingham Dairy Herd Health Group, the ‘Farmskills’ steering group, the International Embryo Transfer Society and served on the Veterinary Residues and Products Committees (VRC and VPC) of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). He currently sits on the steering group for the national AgriTech ‘Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Livestock’ (CIEL), is a fellow of Askham Bryan College and is a non-executive director of the Animal Health and Welfare Board of England (AHWBE).

Main veterinary interests include reproductive technologies, nutrition, mastitis control and progressive herd health and production management. He has published a wide range of papers, articles and book chapters and is a co-author of textbook ‘Dairy Herd Health’. He holds the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Diploma in Cattle Health and Production, is a RCVS recognised specialist in Cattle Health and Production and was named UK Dairy Vet of the year 2015.


Mike Gooding


Mike has followed a professional career in agriculture including the management of commercial farming operations, research and development, agricultural accountancy and finance; marketing and public relations. Experienced in the livestock sector and food processing, he is a director of an abattoir business and works with some of the World’s leading food brands in developing sustainable food production.

He chaired the Oxford Farming Conference 2013 and has been a judge in the BBC Food and Farming Awards, he is particularly interested in how society sees agriculture and the countryside. For 5 years he chaired The Farm Inspiration Trust, a pioneering charity delivering educational programs for school children and therapeutic activities for adults with autism and learning disabilities.

Mike is married to Ruth Clements a veterinary surgeon who specialises in the development and roll-out of holistic disease control programmes in sustainable agriculture and aquaculture. They live in Oxfordshire and continue small scale livestock production with cattle, sheep and pig enterprises.


Harriet Scott

Head of Operations

Harriet joined RAFT in 2014, to help manage the increasing portfolio of projects.  Harriet is experienced in project management, a Recognised PRINCE2 Practitioner and enjoys managing projects of all shapes and sizes including projects funded by Innovate UK and H2020.

Harriet now manages the Operations Team, focussing on the delivery of projects from conception to write-up and working with the veterinary team to ensure reliable delivery of all research projects, advanced breeding services, consultancy and training.

Harriet is also an external member of Askham Bryan College Research & Scholarship Committee, the ‘FarmSkills’ Steering Group and a committee member of Ripley and Nidderdale Shows and Countryside Live.



Katie Burton BSc (Hons) MRes PhD

Reproduction Technician and Researcher

Katie joined RAFT in April 2015 as our Reproduction Technician and Researcher. Katie completed her MRes and PhD in Genomic Imprinting at the University of Liverpool following on

from an undergraduate degree in Bioveterinary Science at the university’s vet school.

The significant laboratory experience and research skills she gained bring a high standard of rigour to the SemenRate lab as well as our other advanced breeding service. Katie is also involved in some of our RAFT research projects where reproduction is the main theme.




Nicola Bowes

Projects and Office Assistant




Holly Fenwick

Projects, Office and Book-keeping Assistant

Holly initially joined RAFT during October of 2017 as the book-keeper but was quick to take on various other roles within the company. Due to her previously studying Animal Management at the Grimsby Institute, she has a personal interest in the animal industry. This experience has proved useful and Holly is now responsible for organising the variety of training courses that take place here at RAFT






Beverley Boynton RVN

Projects and Office Assistant

Beverley has joined RAFT as a Projects and Office assistant. Beverley qualified as a Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2001 and has spent most of her nursing background at Bishopton Veterinary Group working up to a Head Nurse position and most recently as Clinical Manager. Beverley is gaining experience within the operations team of coordinating projects alongside reporting Clarifide and SemenRate results.






Phil Alcock BVetMed CertCHP DipRN MRCVS

Phil is a partner of Bishopton Veterinary Group and his interests involve all aspects of cattle work in particular herd health management, nutrition and lameness control. As a founding director of RAFT Solutions, Phil is principally interested in livestock skills development and is very active in farm training initiatives and knowledge exchange, and is a Training Director at XLVets UK; a group of independently owned veterinary practices across the UK. This training interest led to the establishment of the national XLVet ‘FarmSkills’ programme, a suite of practical, veterinary-led training courses on key livestock management skills, which are regularly delivered by RAFT and XLVet practices.

Phil has provided technical input for a variety of industry bodies including pharmaceutical companies, milk recording organisations, milk and meat processors, feed companies and the AHDB and has contributed across a wide range of the farming press. He holds the RCVS certificate in cattle health and reproduction, a Diploma in Ruminant nutrition from Harper Adams University College, is a licenced Category 1 foot trimmer.



Duncan Berkshire MA VetMB MSc CertPM MRCVS

Duncan joined the pig department at Bishopton Veterinary Group in 2009, and shortly after joined the Partnership, having previously worked extensively with pigs in Yorkshire since graduation. He qualified from Cambridge Vet School in 2004 and obtained his Masters in Livestock Health and Production with the Royal Veterinary College while in practice. Duncan also holds the RCVS Certificate in Pig Medicine. Improving herd health and reproductive physiology are particular areas of interest, along with farm based investigations to introduce preventative medicine programmes on unit. Duncan has provided technical input for a variety of industry bodies including retailers, and meat product manufacturers both Nationally and Internationally and is currently President of the Pig Veterinary Society.

Through RAFT, Duncan delivers the nationally recognised FarmSkills and VetSkills training to both veterinary surgeons (including the XLVet Graduate Programme) and farmers on health and welfare improvements. He has previously delivered the Assessor and Quality Assurance role on behalf of Vetscore Ltd for the AHDB Pig Health Scheme, and is also one of the AHDB Pork Real Welfare veterinary trainers, helping train vets in the new welfare outcomes for the Red Tractor scheme.  When not immersed in the world of pigs, Duncan enjoys throwing himself down mountains on skis, and training other people to do the same thing.



Nigel Woolfenden BVSc MRCVS

Nigel qualified from Liverpool University in 1986, and is a Partner and specialist pig vet at Bishopton Veterinary Group.

He is a Past President of both the Pig Veterinary Society and the Yorkshire Veterinary Society, and a current member of the Pig Health and Welfare Council. His main interests are preventative medicine, training on farm, and the management of health.

Through RAFT, Nigel delivers the nationally recognised FarmSkills and VetSkills training to both veterinary surgeons and farmers on health and welfare improvements. Nigel has previously delivered the Assessor and Quality Assurance role on behalf of Vetscore Ltd for the AHDB Pig Health Scheme.

Since 2011, Nigel has led the veterinary involvement in the AHDB Pork Pig Health Improvement (PHIP) Programme; a project liaising with eight veterinary practices around England to co-ordinate activity and help develop health plans for clusters of farmers.  Nigel now manages the development of four clusters of pig producers for the PHIP, taking groups of farmers through a process of understanding each other’s aims, working towards common goals and appreciating how biosecurity and health improvement can affect the status of neighbouring farms. He is also one of the AHDB Pork Real Welfare veterinary trainers, helping train vets in the new welfare outcomes for the Red Tractor scheme.



Mark Spilman BVSc MRCVS

Mark grew up on a mixed livestock/arable farm and qualified from Liverpool Vet School in 2006. He joined Bishopton Veterinary Group straight from university having seen practice there.

Mark’s main interests lie in herd health and cattle reproduction. Mark is involved in RAFT’s advanced breeding team performing embryo work, bull fertility assessments, ovum pick-up/IVF and semen collections. Mark leads the male fertility side of RAFT’s advanced breeding business and was involved in the development of the research and role out of the now commercial ‘SemenRate’ service, an objective assessment of semen quality using CASA and flow cytometry technology. Mark is currently doing a Masters at the University of Glasgow on the objective analysis of frozen bovine semen in Practice. Outside of work, Mark plays for Helperby in the Nidderdale cricket league, plays rugby for Ripon in the winter and fits in an odd days shooting when possible.


Neil Eastham BVSc DBR MRCVS

Neil joined Bishopton Veterinary Group in July 2007 after graduating from Liverpool University. An upbringing on a dairy and sheep farm in Lancashire played a large role in him deciding to specialise in farm animal work. Neil still enjoys helping out at home when possible, especially showing, developing and marketing his own “Tristar” herd.

Neil was previously chairman of the North East Holstein breeders club.

Neil’s main interest is fertility and he leads the female fertility side of RAFT’s advanced breeding services, delivering specialist advanced breeding techniques such as embryo transfer and ovum pick-up/IVF.  Neil has achieved a Diploma in Bovine Reproduction from Liverpool University and is currently undertaking a Nuffield Scholarship.  In addition, Neil developed and delivers the consultancy and training of veterinary practitioners for CLARIFIDE® the veterinary genomics package that aligns genomic testing with breeding objectives and herd health goals on farm. Aside of his interest in fertility, Neil’s other area of interest is lameness and he is recognised AHDB Dairy mobility mentor.



Katherine Lumb BVSc MSc MRCVS

Katherine joined Bishopton Veterinary Group and RAFT in August 2014 having qualified from Liverpool Vet School. In 2012, Katherine completed a Masters in Veterinary Science (Veterinary Infectious Disease Control). Katherine’s interests include infectious disease control, mastitis control, youngstock health and welfare, and heifer growth and development to maintain a sustainable dairy herd.

Katherine is involved in RAFT’s research and training projects and has carried out research in prevalence of Chlamydia like organisms as causal pathogens of bovine abortion, review of the impact of mycotoxin exposure in Livestock systems, a pilot study into the use of metabolomics to identify biomarkers for the assessment of pain and response to meloxicam in calves following disbudding, the effect of heat stress in cattle and development of rapid mastitis diagnostic technologies. Katherine is also an AHDB Dairy Mastitis Control Plan Mentor.

Outside of work, Katherine enjoys mountaineering and cycling; she also sings and plays the clarinet.