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Tributes paid to Harper Adams alumnus Peel Holroyd

Posted 7 January

“The impact of Mr Holroyd on agriculture, the poultry and pig industries, and rural life in general, is reflected in his deep and ongoing connections to Harper Adams since graduating. Through the establishment and chairing of the Temperton Fellowship, the awardees of which are celebrated in a dedicated room on campus, and his being awarded an Honorary Fellowship of this institution, his distinguished career is being rightly acknowledged.”

A man - the late Peel Holroyd – in front of green foliage.

Flags at the Harper Adams Campus are to be flown at half mast on Monday, January 10, to mark the death of Peel Holroyd, a Harper Adams alumnus and leading figure in the food production industry.

Mr Holroyd – who worked in both the poultry and pig industries after completing his studies at Harper Adams – died in December after a short illness.

Representatives of Harper Adams will be among the congregation at the funeral.

A resident of Newbury, in Berkshire, Mr Holroyd was a friend and mentor to many in the industries he served, both in the UK and globally – whether working with major companies such as Marks and Spencer or providing his own independent consultancy across the total food chain.

As a valued member of its alumni community, he was made an Honorary Fellow of Harper Adams in 1989.

He was also instrumental in setting up the Temperton Fellowship, a long-standing Fellowship marked at Harper Adams to commemorate the contribution of Dr Harold Temperton, Director of the National Institute of Poultry Husbandry at the University from 1951 to 1974.

For each year of the Fellowship – which spanned a quarter of a century - an invited speaker presented a research report to industry experts and other interested parties at the Farmers Club in London.

The range of Temperton Fellows spanned a vast variety of disciplines and careers, with veterinarians, Government officials, academics, farming advisers and industry chiefs among them.

Fellows’ reports were noted in the media for their potential to influence both industry actions and Government policy, and for the calibre of their contributors. By bringing together Government, industry and academia, the Fellowship drew together the best from each - and, as a piece in Meat Management noted, crucial to its success was: ‘The enthusiasm and commitment of Peel Holroyd himself, whose energy and determination were acknowledged in report after report.’

Each Fellow’s name was also marked on special commemorative English Oak boards in the University’s Tempterton Room, which were unveiled in 2011 – ten years after Mr Holroyd had made his own mark as a Temperton Fellow.

Speaking at their unveiling, as Chairman of the Fellowship – a post he held since its inception - he told assembled guests that, over the years, Harper Adams and the poultry industry had worked very closely together.

He added: “One of the challenges of a fellow is that his or her report has to meet the requirements of the academic college.”

Current Vice-Chancellor of Harper Adams University, Professor Ken Sloan, paid tribute to Mr Holroyd.

He said: “The impact of Mr Holroyd on agriculture, the poultry and pig industries, and rural life in general, is reflected in his deep and ongoing connections to Harper Adams since graduating. 

“Through the establishment and chairing of the Temperton Fellowship, the awardees of which are celebrated in a dedicated room on campus, and his being awarded an Honorary Fellowship of this institution, his distinguished career is being rightly acknowledged.”

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