The National Farmers Union south of the border has a first female president in its 110 years of existence following the election of Minette Batters at a recent meeting of the union in Birmingham. She replaces outgoing Meurig Raymond who announced he would step down last November.
Batters, a beef, sheep and arable farmer from Wiltshire, had been deputy to Raymond after both were re-elected to their roles in 2016.
On her election as the NFU President, she said: “I am immensely proud to be leading the NFU into a new era as part of an industry which is so important to our country. I know I take the helm at a time of enormous significance, at a time of economic and political uncertainty, which will be felt in our fields and on our farms more keenly then any other industry.”
She continued: “One of my first jobs will be to reconnect what we do as farmers with the British public, to demonstrate how far we have come and to showcase what we deliver to Britain. As a beef producer myself, I am particularly passionate about promoting what we do to the public and encouraging them to back British farming.”
Her election was greeted positively by farmers in Scotland, with The Scottish Farmer quoting Perthshire beef and sheep farmer, Maimie Paterson: “I think it’s great that Ms Batters has been elected into this role. The NFU believes that a woman is more than capable of running the organisation, and I think our own union should pay attention to that.”
Martin Kennedy, vice-president of NFU Scotland, added: “I think it’s really good that she has been elected, and we have already worked quite a bit with Ms Batters (in her role as NFU vice-president), and I believe she understands why Scotland has to work slightly differently than England and Wales.”