26 February 1999

SNFU:Five into three wont go

THERE are five contenders for the three places on the Scottish NFU top table.

Current vice-presidents Jim Walker and Peter Chapman will contest the presidential election next Friday in Dunblane.

Mr Walker runs suckler cows and hill sheep on two units based at Drumbuie in Dumfriesshire, while Mr Chapman has arable and intensive sector on his farm in Aberdeenshire.

Both have indicated that, if unsuccessful in the first election, they will stand in the second one for two vice-presidents. So will Peter Stewart, Fife, Malcolm Morrison, Sutherland, and Henry Murdoch, Ayr.

Mr Stewart, unsuccessful in the elections last year, is an arable farmer, Mr Morrison has 1300 ewes and 60 suckler cows, and Mr Murdoch has given up milking cows in favour of beef and sheep.

New chief executive Ed Rainy Brown and the current presidential team have also been swift in making new staff appointments created by the reorganisation package.

Announcements will not be made until the meeting at Dunblane. But it will surprise nobody if current policy director Craig Campbell gets the extra workload of heading the new team of regional policy advisers.

One member of that team is likely to be current headquarters economist Scott Walker who may well move to regional policy adviser for the east of Scotland. Another saving has been the non replacement of milk commodity director Caroline Lang.

Her work is being done by livestock director Richard Henton.