For the first time ever, the candidates who are standing for the top officeholder roles within NFU Scotland will participate in a round of virtual hustings events that start on Friday, January 22.

A traditional part of NFU Scotland’s election process would normally see officeholder candidates tour every part of Scotland with all regions holding their own member event.

Due to the exceptional circumstances, the hustings events will now take place online with members urged to register to hear from each of the candidates as they seek the necessary votes.

The four nominations for the two vice presidential posts are (in alphabetical order):

  • Andrew Connon, North Quilquox, Ythanbank, Ellon, Aberdeenshire;
  • Willie Harper, Gryffewraes, Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire;
  • George Milne, Kinaldy, St Andrews, Fife;
  • Robin Traquair, Wellington Farm, Millerhill, Dalkeith, Midlothian.

Current vice president Martin Kennedy, who will stand unchallenged for the position of president, will also take place in the following virtual events.

The elections will take place at the union’s virtual council meeting on Friday, February 12, 2021, with online voting arrangements for council members in place.

‘Hugely encouraging for the future of NFU Scotland’

Commenting on the prospect of an exciting, if very different election campaign, NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker said:

“It is hugely encouraging for the future of NFU Scotland and the sign of a healthy and vibrant union that we have so many excellent candidates standing for election.

Five people have put the interests of the industry ahead of the interests of their own businesses and are standing for the positions of president or vice president.

“I wish each one of them the very best and, while missing out on the traditional tour of Scotland, I urge them to make the most of these online meetings.

“They all have the skills and experience to do a great job for NFU Scotland and this is their opportunity to convince members that they are the person to occupy one of the top positions in the union as we tackle the major challenges ahead.

Our industry is entering a new era and we need the right people in place to drive forward policies that are in the very best interests of our farmers and crofters.

“Members will have the chance to hear from our candidates as they take part in these three virtual events.

“The decision the membership must make is who should lead this union for the next 24 months as we negotiate one of the biggest periods of change faced by the industry in the union’s 108-year history,” he concluded.