The governing body of one of the leading research institutes in the UK has awarded an honorary fellowship to a Scottish farmer and former international rugby union player.

The Moredun Foundation, the governing body of the Moredun Research Institute, bestowed the fellowship to John Jeffrey at its annual meeting on September 4.

Mr Jeffrey – who has also been chairman of the International Rugby Board – was chairman of the Moredun Research Institute Board from 2004 to 2011.

According to Moredun, Mr Jeffrey has a long history with the institute, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, and “greatly valuing” the research work being conducted there. He was regional chairman for the south of Scotland Moredun Foundation Board, joining the main board in 1996 where he then moved on to become chairman of the Moredun Research Institute for seven years.

He is also well known to many through his highly successful international rugby union career, where he won 40 caps for Scotland and was a member of the British Lions tour to Australia in 1989. He has been a member of the International Rugby Board Council since 2010 and has recently taken up a position as chair of the council.

Scientific director of the Moredun Research Institute Julie Fitzpatrick said the institute was “delighted” to recognise the “significant contribution” Mr Jeffrey has made to Moredun over the past 25 years.

“His genuine interest in the science and his encouragement and loyal support through good and challenging times for the organisation have helped to shape the highly successful International Research Institute we have today. On behalf of all the staff at Moredun we would like to give our thanks and appreciation for all John has done for the organisation.”

Mr Jeffrey called the fellowship a “great honour“.

“I have particularly enjoyed getting to know the scientists and developing a better understanding of the very valuable work they do in developing vaccines and diagnostic tests to combat livestock disease,” he said. “I am very interested in hearing about Moredun’s progress going forward.”

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