Newmarket: National Farmers’ Union hustings brings post hopefuls to Suffolk
NATIONAL Farmers’ Union (NFU) members in East Anglia quizzed candidates for the organisation’s top three posts at a hustings meeting in Newmarket today.
More than 40 farmers had the chance to quiz hopefuls for the position of president, deputy president and vice-president at the meeting.
Issues under discussion ranged from encouraging young people into agriculture to drought concerns, reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the power of the supermarkets, and even which celebrity chef would be the best role model for agriculture.
There were also questions on the NFU’s relationship with politicians, the future for genetically modified crops, and what impact the collapse of the euro could have on British agriculture.
NFU president Peter Kendall is standing unopposed but he still needs 75% of the vote to secure a fourth term in office.
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He told the hustings the next couple of years would be really important for the industry, in areas such as CAP reform and tackling bovine TB, and he was hoping for strong support from members.
“If I get a strong mandate it sends a key message to government that the organisation is behind its leadership and we are solid in our views,” he said.
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Current deputy president Meurig Raymond is being challenged by Kent farmer Kevin Attwood and Paul Temple, who farms in Yorkshire.
Mr Attwood and Mr Temple are also challenging incumbent Gwyn Jones for the position of vice-president. The other challengers are Jonathan Brant from Lincolnshire, national livestock board chairman Alistair Mackintosh, Devon farmer Anthony Rew and Warwickshire farmer Adam Quinney.
Full details about the candidates are available on the NFU’s website, www.nfuonline.com. The election takes place at the end of the annual conference and AGM in Birmingham in February.