Six farmers are in the running for the presidential jobs at NFU Scotland.
Nominations for the job of president and the two vice-president roles closed on Monday and the union yesterday confirmed the names of those standing for election.
Despite pleas from Highland SNP MSP Kate Forbes for female farmers to stand for election, no new names have been unveiled and the six previously announced nominees are the only ones standing for election.
Three farmers will fight for the role of president – current president Allan Bowie, who farms in Fife and Stirlingshire, is being challenged by his two vice-presidents.
The vice-presidents – Andrew McCornick, who farms in Dumfriesshire, and Borders farmer Rob Livesey – are only standing for the top job and have not put their names forward for another term as vice-president.
This means two new vice-presidents will definitely be elected and three farmers have put themselves forward for election.
They are: Forth and Clyde regional chairman Tom French, who runs a mixed enterprise near Biggar; less favoured areas committee chairman Martin Kennedy, who runs a beef and sheep farm near Aberfeldy; and Dumfries regional chairman Gary Mitchell, who runs an 800-cow dairy unit near Stranraer.
NFU Scotland chief executive Scott Walker said: “It is hugely encouraging for the future of NFU Scotland and indication of the strength of the organisation that such a strong line-up of candidates want to be involved in the union at the highest level.
“With Brexit discussions looming and future agricultural policy in the UK and Scotland up for debate, we need the right people in place to drive forward policies that are in the very best interests of our farmers and crofters.”
The presidential elections take place at the union’s annual meeting on Tuesday, February 7, at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the centre of Glasgow.