A tense and fiercely fought election process resulted in two familiar faces and one newbie being named the new presidential team at NFU Scotland’s AGM in St Andrews this morning.
Long-serving vice president Allan Bowie steps up to the role of president, while fellow vice-president Rob Livesey will continue in his role with Dumfriesshire farmer Andrew McCornick appointed as a new vice president.
Mr Bowie, who farms in north-east Fife and Clackmannanshire with his wife and son, has been vice-president since February 2009.
In his first address as the union’s top man, he called on government for action rather than words to address the difficulties faced by sectors such as milk and potatoes.
The Scottish farming industry was sick of consultations which did nothing but defer decisions for six months, said Mr Bowie.
“There are still issues [with the Cap] that we need to deal with and actually make a decision on,” he added.
He called on farm minister Richard Lochhead to work with politicians in Westminster and the European Commission to encourage inward investment in Scotland.
Industry needed to work to with its consumers both north and south of the border to make sure they understood the value of buying Scottish produce, said Mr Bowie.
Vice-president Rob Livesey, who has been in the post for the past two years, runs a mixed arable, beef and sheep enterprise in the Borders.
The new entrant to the ranks – Andrew McCornick – hails from Dumfries where he runs a mixed beef and sheep enterprise with his wife and children. Up until his election yesterday, he was regional board chairman for Dumfries and Galloway.
The only candidate from the north-east – Laurencekirk farmer Andrew Moir – went home disappointed but said he would continue in his role as the chair of the union’s combinable crops committee.
A firm favourite for either role, Mr Moir seemed to be ahead of Mr Livesey when the president election came down to a vote between him and Mr Bowie.
However, in the vice presidential elections, Mr Livesey and Mr McCornick beat him to the post.
Meanwhile, outgoing president Nigel Miller who retires after four years in the role, will remain a key figure in Scottish farming.
He is to head up a new industry-wide body called Livestock Health Scotland.