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Ayrshire Politicians Join in Centenary Celebrations

Ayrshire’s politicians have joined local farmers in a Centenary celebration lunch to mark 100 years of NFU Scotland.

The Union, which has its roots in Ayrshire, has a long history of working with politicians to promote and develop food and farming in the region.  To mark the occasion, all politicians at the Centenary lunch, held last week, were presented with a copy of NFU Scotland’s new Centenary Cookbook, which features the very best of Scottish produce as ingredients.

At the lunch in Prestwick, the Union sought political support on a number of issues including help to reinvigorate agricultural education in Ayrshire and build on the growing number of youngsters looking to farming as a career.

Members of NFU Scotland’s Ayrshire Regional Board discussed with the MPs and MSPs present the need for practical training. Of particular concern was the lack of places for those seeking practical dairy qualifications and vocational training to support Modern Apprenticeships.

The region has suffered a loss in the availability of facilities for practical training and education with the closure of SRUC’s Auchincruive Farm outside Ayr.  

Speaking after the meeting, Regional Board Chairman, John Wildman said:

“As always, we had a very constructive and encouraging meeting with our politicians who continue to show a real interest and appreciation that what happens in the Ayrshire countryside can have long term positive benefits for the economy in the region.”

Regional Board Member Willie Campbell said:

"Our meeting with the MPs and MSPs resounded with common sense. There was recognition that as an industry we face many challenges. Yet we are key to tackling issues such as food security and revamping the economy.

“As regards the future of farming, all recognised the desperate need for practical training.  There was a genuine undertaking from everyone present to explore the possibilities with SRUC to enhance the training facilities in Ayrshire, particularly in the Auchincruive campus, which not so long ago was a world renowned centre of excellence."

Notes to Editors

  • The politicians attending the Centenary lunch were Brian Donohoe MP, Cathy Jamieson MP, Sandra Osborne MP, Graeme Pearson MSP, Kenneth Gibson MSP and John Scott MSP.   NFUS President Nigel Miller also attended.
  • As well as discussing education, those attending the meeting also discussed health and safety on farms, encouraging local authorities to source Scottish produce, food traceability and security, and the improved water quality in Ayrshire river catchments.
  • A selection of photographs of the politicians with the regional board are available from NFU Scotland Regional Manager Christine Cuthbertson on 07775 838926 or Email: christine.cuthbertson@nfus.org.uk

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 30/13


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