Iain Wilson of Mearns JAC stood down from his role as Chair of the committee at the recent AGM in Perth. Following a busy 12 months building on the success and growth of SAYFC’s Agri & Rural Affairs, he highlighted:
“With the help of keen and enthusiastic SAYFC districts, the lifeblood of the Agri-Affairs committee, we have continued to build our profile within the wider Agricultural industry. In our work hosting panel nights and arranging oversubscribed events and training days – we in turn have received constant invites to meetings with key policy makers across the UK and have begun attracting front page headlines from our activities!”
“We can’t ever underestimate the importance of SAYFC having ‘a seat at the table’ and being involved in the discussions which can ultimately change or influence wider policy and impact on the day-to-day lives of many of our members now and for years to come.”
Mr Wilson reminisced on his highlights from their two day November Conference, California Study Trip and the yet again well supported year of ‘Cultivating Leaders’ training and workshops. He gave thanks to the 2018/19 regional representatives for their efforts in hosting hugely successful activities for members involving industry representatives who encouragingly pinpointed future efforts that are required to help Scottish Agriculture thrive not only collaboratively, but individually on farm!
From being elected as Chairman of the Committee this month, Andrew McGregor bears in mind the importance for SAYFC members involved with the Agri & Rural Affairs, to build relationships externally out with the association in order to enhance their learning and expand their outlook. Andrew commented:
"We hope to be a driving force for SAYFC’s members, not only organising events where members can learn from progressive businesses - as well as each other - but also representing young people in agriculture on various external boards and stakeholder groups. It’s important to me that Young Farmers in Scotland are given the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge to make sure we are up to the task of insuring Scottish Agriculture remains thriving and sustainable far into the future. It is great to see the work of our committee being recognised - with external groups wanting to get involved with us from Orkney to Westminster."
The coming year under Andrew’s leadership promises to be exciting one! Kick starting his year in the chair, will be a North Regional visit to Little Haddo Farm, an arable farm run by the Wilson family near Ellon, spread over 2,000 acres of mainly cereals and fattening their beef cattle for Morrisons supermarket, The visit then will head to Harbro’s Mill near Peterhead, whom Michael Wilson is a pioneer for in undertaking on-farm trials for the last decade putting innovation at the core!
The visit is an open visit for any SAYFC member and will demonstrate new technologies in feed production and will provide an insight into the innovations in ruminant nutrition and monogastric nutrition. To find out what else is included in the schedule, visit https://bit.ly/2Pr1pyT
SAYFC’s 2019 study tour, starting on Friday 19th July will stop-off at a Lancaster dairy farm advocating Freedom Food welfare standards. Nick Crowe’s Hampshire based arable, beef [& insect] farm will also host the group. The committee then hope to visit The Hands Free Hectare (HFHa) project at Harper Adams University before completing at the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells. With exhibitors from far and wide, the show is an international stage for both Welsh and British agricultural sectors and showcases some of the finest animals in Europe - attracting over 240,000 spectators per year. Applications open for the study trip in the coming weeks. Look out for news and events from the Agri & Rural Affairs team on www.sayfc.org and social media.
Alternatively, if you have any queries or would like to be involved in helping the committee in their endeavours please contact your district or regional representative!
The Agri & Rural Affairs Committee elected for 2019/2020:
Chairman: Andrew McGregor
Vice Chairman: Catherine Sloan
Retiring Chairman: Iain Wilson
Chairman: Joanna Foubister
Aberdeen and Kincardine: Alex Stephen
East Aberdeenshire: Amy Reid
West Aberdeenshire: Joanna Foubister
Deveron and Speyside: Lorna Edward
RNI: Sarah Mowat
Caithness: Gemma Duguid
Orkney: Peter Moss
Co-option: Murray Stephen
Chairman: Alistair Brunton
Border Fed: Steven Paterson
Lothian & Peebles: Hamish Logan
Fife and Kinross: Callum Greer
Perthshire: Crawford McLaren
Angus Tayside: Daniel Fleming
Co-options: Jillian Kennedy & Ewan Lambie
Chairman: John McCulloch
Lanarkshire: Zoe Bryson
Dumfries & Galloway: Ben McClymont
Clyde & Central: Caitlin Ross
Co-options: Lucy McClymont & Andrew Neilson