Galloway farmer elected as vice president of NFU Scotland

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Fife farmer Allan Bowie has been elected the 61st president of NFU Scotland with Galloway farmer Andrew McCornick as vice president.

Mr Bowie takes over one of the top jobs in Scottish agriculture from Borders farmer Nigel Miller, who steps down having served for four years.

In Tuesday’s vote, taken at the Union’s AGM in St Andrews, Allan secured the presidential spot, against fellow contestants Andrew Moir and Rob Livesey.

Borders farmer Rob and Andrew McCornick were successfully elected as vice-presidents.

The unsuccessful vice-presidential candidates were Andrew Moir from Kincardineshire, Kelvin Pate from the Borders and John Smith from Kintyre.

After the election, NFU Scotland’s new president Allan Bowie commented: “I am very pleased to be elected into the post of president. It will be a huge task to follow Nigel Miller, but also a huge privilege. I appreciate all the support from the council and members, and going forward it is certainly going to remain challenging.

“I look forward to representing members on all sectors and scales. In his final address to council, Nigel alluded to the unfinished business that we have around CAP implementation, land and tenancy reform and new powers for Scotland. The work that Nigel has so ably started, means that I, and the new vice-presidents, will need to hit the ground running.”

In his final address to the AGM as president, Nigel Miller called on the momentum established in 2014 to continue.

He said: “The future for our industry is bright, I remain very positive about our prospects but there remains a great deal of work to be done. Last year was a landmark year in many respects but the reality is, nothing is finished.

“For Scotland, after all the excitement and anticipation of 2014. It would be very easy for politics, post-Smith Commission, to slide into stalemate, killing the huge resurgence in political engagement and moving quickly to disillusionment. It is up to all politicians to make that energy in Scotland a positive for the future. Part of that is making the Smith Commission compromise work and grasping the opportunities in the Scotland Bill.”

As Nigel stood down as president, Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead revealed Nigel’s new role as chairman of Livestock Health Scotland.

Chief executive Scott Walker said: “Over the years Nigel – as both a farmer and a vet – has been influential in ensuring that Scotland, if necessary, has taken a different approach to animal health and welfare issues, and that has seen us develop a stakeholder culture and do different things on diseases like TB, Blue Tongue and BVD. We are very pleased that Nigel’s passion and talents will continue to be used to the benefit of the industry. His veterinary background brought a vast strength and knowledge on animal diseases to the Union’s policies and how Scotland’s livestock industry could improve itself.

“This new role is critical for Scotland in taking forward the challenges in a meaningful and practical way that will help deliver real change on farm to the benefit of the industry.”