Rawson, an agronomist and brassica grower in East Yorkshire, told Grower: "The sector needs a strong and active research and development programme."
He added: "Working with the Horticultural Development Company, I want to see that maximised for the good of our members, both big and small. The BGA must also be the face of the industry, able to represent it in the media, to raise its profile and to respond to any crises."
Strong communication with members - for example, to notify them of grant scheme eligibility - would also be a priority, he added.
David Clay of Staples Vegetables will fill Rawson's previous post of research and development chairman.