Martin Kennedy elected union president

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Highland Perthshire farmer Martin Kennedy has been elected the 63rd President of the National Farmers Union (NFU) Scotland.

Mr Kennedy, who has been a vice president at the union since 2017, now takes over one of the top jobs in Scottish agriculture.

Aberdeenshire farmer Andrew Connon and Robin Traquair of Midlothian are the union’s new vice presidents.

In the vote, taken at the union’s virtual council meeting in Glasgow on February 12, Mr Kennedy was elected unopposed to the presidential spot. Mr Connon and Mr Traquair were elected after a keenly-fought vice presidential contest against Willie Harper and George Milne.

The presidential position will be held by Mr Kennedy for two years. A president can serve a maximum of two consecutive two-year terms. Under the terms of the constitution, Mr Connon and Mr Traquair, elected to the position of vice president for the first time, will initially serve for two years before the post reverts to an annual election.

After the election, NFU Scotland’s new president Mr Kennedy said: ‘It goes without saying, it is a great honour to be elected president of NFU Scotland. This is a role I recognise carries a huge responsibility to represent all our members in all sectors of farming and crofting throughout Scotland.

‘Without question, we will have some real challenges ahead as we strive to meet climate change and environmental targets at the same time as our fundamental role of food production.

‘I see these challenges as opportunities. Provided we implement a positive future agricultural policy, one that’s right for Scotland, we can create a profitable industry that’s the envy of many across the globe.’

Mr Kennedy went on to pay tribute to the many people he has worked with during his four years as vice president, particularly outgoing president Andrew McCornick and Charlie Adam, who stepped down as vice president and a ten-year spell on the union’s board. He also welcomed everyone who has now stepped up to represent the membership on the new board, including his new vice presidents Andrew Connon and Robin Traquair.

Martin Kennedy is a tenant farmer from Edradynate, near Aberfeldy. He farms with his wife Jane and three daughters Jillian, Katrina and Yvonne.

They have 600 ewes and 60 cows on the farm, rising from 800 feet to more than 2,500 feet.

He served two years as Highland Perthshire branch chairman before representing East Central region on the Less Favoured Areas committee in 2009, going on to be vice chairman then chairing the committee for three years.

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New NFU Scotland president Martin Kennedy. no_a08Martin Kennedy01