Stowmarket and Sudbury: Farming stalwart David Card charts new course

National Farmers’ Union (NFU) stalwart David Card is setting sail for pastures new after almost two decades helping farmers in Suffolk.

David, senior group secretary at the NFU’s Stowmarket & Sudbury office, is stepping down this week (18 May) after 19 years in the post and farmers turned out in force at Stowmarket Golf Club on Friday to thank him for his work.

He is looking forward to taking on new projects, as well as spending more time sailing his boat.

“It was quite moving to see so many people turning up on Friday to thank me and wish me well,” he said.

“To have been able to come into a position where you can do a job, run a business and help people – that was really the attraction when I joined the NFU and it’s been all of those things.

“The work I’ve done with farmers, as well as with MPs and the police on their behalf, has been gratifying, satisfying and enjoyable. I’ve met some incredible characters on big farms, small farms and across all different farming sectors as well. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

David’s previous career included 11 years as a navigator with the RAF. He also worked for British Sugar for 12 years, spent four years as a Suffolk county councillor and was assistant chief executive for Mid-Suffolk District Council.

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His job as group secretary involved working with NFU members in the Lavenham area and running an insurance agency on behalf of rural insurer NFU Mutual. When he started the agency employed just two people and now it employs 10.

He is married to Eileen and the couple have three grown-up sons, Jonathan, Michael and Nicholas.

NFU East Anglia business development manager Wendy Kearney said: “More than 120 people came to wish David well on Friday and that shows the high esteem he’s held in right across Suffolk’s farming community.

“He’s worked incredibly hard on behalf of NFU members over the last 19 years, with real commitment to the job, and we wish him all the best for the future.”

The new senior group secretary is James Batchelor-Wylam, who has worked with David at the group office for the last 15 years.