Our backgrounds are in data analytics and soil science.
Tom used to
collect soil samples to
sell bio-fertilisers. With a Big4
accountancy background previously,
he had learned the power of properly harnessing data analytics and machine learning to make better decisions. He started Soil Benchmark out of a frustration that soil data was being used to just sell inputs to farmers. He is passionate about soil health, and enabling the only people who can do anything about it
- farmers - to make the
Ben has a
deep knowledge of soil
science and geospatial analytics,
gained from five years at the James
Hutton Institute, working with soil data from around the world, including the Scottish National database of soils. Previously he got his doctorate at Bangor University. He joined
Tom to set up Soil Benchmark to use the
cutting edge techniques he developed
in academia to make a tangible
difference at field
Dr Ben Butler
Chief (Soil) Science Officer
Tom and Ben are supported by an exceptional advisory board, including world-leading soil scientists and data analysts:
Prof. David Robinson
David is a soil scientist at CEH, and has been a co-author for the UN Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils. He now co-leads the UK Soil Observatory - the largest collection of academic soil datasets in the UK - and helps Soil Benchmark utilise this data to provide maximum value to the farmers and businesses we work with.
Prof. Alex McBratney
Alex is a globally recognised soil scientist, the founding father of digitial soil mapping, and a past winner of the Dokuchaev Medal (a.k.a. the Nobel Prize for Soil Science). He advises us on our long term strategy to ensure that our innovative methods for utilising on-farm soil data remain scientifically robust and at the cutting edge of soil science.
Prof. Richard Tiffin
Richard is the co-founder and CSO of Agrimetrics - one of the 4 UK Agri-Tech Centres. He is also a Professor at the University of Reading, and helps to connect us with the wider ecosystem of agri-policy, ensuring that our work aligns with national initiatives to ensure farming delivers both healthy food and improved environmental outcomes.
Dr Elizabeth Stockdale
Prof. Simon Pearson
Liz has 25+ years experience in soil management research, and is well known amongst the UK farming community. Her work includes leading the Digitial Soil Health Scorecard project, making the latest soil science research applicable for farmers. We work closely with Liz and her team on these projects, partly via our DEFRA funded FIP scheme.
Donna is the Innovation Lead for OS - one of our early funders via the Geovation accelerator programme. We benefit from the unrivalled group of contacts she has amassed over 30 years working in GIS. She also helps us with commercial strategy and how to position ourselves to create maximum value for our customers.
Simon is the Founding Director of the Lincoln Institute for Agri-food and Technology (LIAT), as well as a former farmer running one of Lincolnshire's largest farm businesses. Simon links us to both the cutting edge work being carried out in Lincoln, and the other start-ups through the Barclays Eagle Labs network, another of our early partners.