Ian Marshall was born on a mixed family farm near Markethill in Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland. His father was a farmer and his mother a school teacher, he was the 3rd of four children.
In the early years he attended Newry Model Primary School with his siblings, where his mother was a teacher, transferring to Markethill Primary school when his mother moved to take up a teaching post closer to the family home. He subsequently took the transfer test and moved on to complete secondary education at The Royal School Armagh, progressing to Greenmount Agricultural College to further his education undertaking a Diploma in Agriculture with a view to return to the farm to expand and grow the family business.
During this period the dairy business was grown and expanded in conjunction with a beef enterprise with cereals grown on farm to complement the livestock enterprises. At the same time as a young man a significant amount of time was committed to support the work of the Ulster Farmers’ Union through their committee structure, Management Board and Executive Committee culminating in his election as Vice President in 2011 and election as President in 2014.
It was over 20 years later that he returned to academia when the opportunity arose to complete a Masters in Agri-Food Business Development at Ulster University and Babson College in Boston, USA.
Ian Marshall has a natural ability to lead and plan, he is a strategist by nature and gets great satisfaction from negotiation and dialogue, finding solutions to problems and managing crises.