Starting gun fired on Union elections

Voting is required for the presidential and vice-presidential roles.

Voting is required for the presidential and vice-presidential roles.

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NFU Scotland is now taking nominations for the positions of president and its two vice-presidential posts.

The election for these key appointments within Scottish agriculture will take place at the Union’s council meeting at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow on Tuesday, February 7, 2017. The Union’s AGM and annual dinner will be staged at the same venue the day before.

Any NFUS member can be nominated for election, providing they are proposed and seconded by fellow NFUS members. The presidential position is held for two years and a President can serve a maximum of two consecutive two-year terms.

Under the terms of the constitution, those elected to the position of vice-president will initially serve for two years before the post reverts to an annual election. Members of NFU Scotland’s council – a body made up from representatives of each of the Union’s 73 branches - will select the successful candidates.

Current president Allan Bowie, who farms in Fife and Stirlingshire, will complete his first two-year term at the Union’s forthcoming AGM and has indicated that he will be standing for election for a second two-year term.

Vice-president Rob Livesey from the Borders, who was first elected to the position in 2013, is currently considering his options with family and friends before announcing his intentions. Dumfriesshire farmer Andrew McCornick was elected to the position of VP in February 2015 for the first time. He has indicated that he will also discuss with family, friends and colleagues his future commitment to NFUS and his family business before deciding.

Anyone wishing to stand as president or vice-president should contact NFUS Chief Executive Scott Walker to obtain a proposal form, which must then be signed and returned to him by close of play on Monday, December 12..

Details on the candidates will be announced at the Union’s Christmas Press Briefing on Wednesday, December 14.

Mr Walker said: “There has rarely been, in our 103-year history, a more challenging period for Scottish farming and crofting and that creates a fantastic opportunity for those who want to help forge our future.

“The job of electing those who will fill our Presidential seat and the two Vice-Presidential posts is now underway and we invite applications from those keen to shape our farming industry for the better in the years ahead.

“In the run up to our annual general meeting in February 2017 – taking place at a new venue in Glasgow - we will be holding a range of hustings across all of our regions early in the New Year. This will give all candidates the opportunity to speak to as many of our members as possible as we approach the elections.

“I would ask that if anyone is planning to run for either President or Vice President that they contact me, so that the Union can provide support where possible. Making our wide network of branches and offices aware of all candidates will maximise the opportunities available to them to speak to the membership first hand.

“If potential candidates want to learn about what the roles entail, I am able to provide a full explanation of what is expected of a Vice President and President. For those keen to represent their fellow Scottish farmers, these are the most respected positions in our sector.”