Who are we?
President – Derek Kelly MBE
Derek Kelly joined the ATA in 1963, two years after it was formed, and is widely recognised as the champion of the traditional turkey.
His company Kelly Turkeys began producing turkeys in 1970. He re-introduced the bronze turkey to the UK and has established KellyBronze as a premium brand. Another business, Farmgate Hatcheries, supplies the largest range of bronze, white and black poults to producers across the UK, Europe and beyond. Derek has served the turkey industry at all levels through the British Turkey Federation, British Poultry Council and Nation Farmers Union.
Ex Officio Chairman – Martin Shea
Martin joined the turkey industry in 1966 when he started work with Lancashire Turkeys (EW Webster Ltd). After graduating from Harper Adams University College in 1970, he joined British United Turkeys (BUT) as a management trainee.
In 1987 Martin was appointed to the position of managing director of BUT a position he held for 21 years. Then in 2008 he went on to re-establish Hockenhull Turkeys as a producer and seller of premium quality turkey poults solely for the UK’s Traditional Farm Fresh Market.
Hockenhull Turkeys takes its name from the Arnold’s family farm Hockenhull Hall and adopted the renowned Black Cheshire Cat as its logo. Throughout the 50’s & 60’s Hockenhull Turkeys became synonymous with quality turkey production and was a consistent winner of numerous over ready competition awards at the flagship annual Olympia Poultry Show in London.
Chairman – James Marriage
James grew up on a mixed arable and beef farm near Chelmsford. After obtaining a languages degree and a brief spell working in London, he returned home to work for the family’s milling company W & H Marriage & Sons.
He spent a year in the mills before joining the feed sales team and eventually became a director.
Despite new responsibilities and a young family, the sales role continues, taking James out on to poultry farms across East Anglia and the south east.
He took over from Paul Fields in organising the annual ATA show, the last of its type in the country where turkeys are exhibited “Show Plucked” with some feathering still intact.
Vice Chairman – Duncan Wreathall
Duncan studied Agricultural Engineering at Harper Adams University College, where he gained a scholarship with the machinery manufacturer JCB. He graduated in 2007 and took the opportunity to return to the family farm.
Duncan is now a partner in the family farming business F.Wreathall & Sons. Based in Stock, Essex. They farm turkeys and arable alongside his brother Tom and parents Patrick & Jane.
The turkey enterprise consists of supplying abattoirs with a steady supply of catering birds throughout the year, and also producing the highest quality traditional farm fresh turkeys for the Christmas market.
Duncan is the third generation of Wreathalls to have been involved with the ATA committee.
Secretary – Becky McConnell
Becky is a newcomer to the industry. She started working for Kelly’s in 2012 as a receptionist, after covering a colleagues maternity leave she then took on a more technical role and now deals with compliance, working alongside a team dealing with audits. She took on the role of Secretary of the ATA in January 2017 after Len Goodman who having served 23 years as ATA Secretary, retired.