New Generation to Take The Platform at Union’s AGM

Representatives of NFU Scotland’s New Generation group will lead the debate on what Scotland’s future farmers need when they take the platform at the Union’s forthcoming AGM and annual dinner in St Andrews.

The latest meeting of the New Generation group, which met in Stirling on Tuesday, 31 January, mapped out the role of the group and the key points that they want addressed to assist them with their desire to pursue careers in food and farming. 

Mull farmer Iain Mackay and Andrew Stevenson from Fife will air the group’s views when they jointly address NFU Scotland’s AGM on the afternoon of Monday, 13 February.

Speaking after the Stirling meeting, Andrew Stevenson, from Bonerbo Farm near Anstruther said:

“NFU Scotland’s New Generation group has pulled together positive and enthusiastic individuals who aim to provide the Union with an insight into how they see a sustainable future for farming and food production in Scotland.

“By brainstorming with both new entrants and successive farmers, the group represents a broad spectrum of our industry.   Having a direct route into the NFUS policy machine will bring a fresh approach and allow us to ensure that those starting out on their farming journey have their voices heard and views taken into account.  This will hopefully result in the group ‘future-proofing’ the Union’s policy decisions.

Commenting on the importance of CAP Reform recognising new businesses in the future, Iain Mackay from Torloisk on Mull said:

“The disadvantages that new farming businesses face with no access to SFP needs to be rectified as a priority within the current CAP negotiations. The New Generation group believes that the current exclusion should not be allowed to persist and all businesses need to be treated in the same equal manner.

“Everything must be done to ensure a National Reserve is in place to assist new businesses from the outset of the new CAP regime.  Much must be learnt from the mistakes of the past to rectify this problem and that excluding genuine new entrants to the farming sector from support is not allowed to happen again under the future direct payment scheme.”   

Notes to Editors

  • Andrew Stevenson (31) is farming at Bonerbo, Anstruther in the East Neuk of Fife in a partnership with his parents. The farming enterprise takes in 700 acres arable, 50% of which is owned the remaining 50% rented in a Limited Partnership. The cereals grown are Winter/Spring oats and Winter wheat.  A small area is let out to a neighbour for broccoli. The farm has a small herd of around 20 Pedigree Charolais Cattle. The family employ no full-time staff but take on a harvest student and work with local contractors when required. The partnership is about to enter a planning application for an 800kw wind turbine.
  • Iain Mackay (38) farms at Torloisk, Ulva Ferry, Isle of Mull.  Although involved in the industry all his life, Iain began farming independently 10 years ago and last year took on the tenancy of an extensive 3000ha hill farm at Torloisk.  It is stocked with 1000 Blackface ewes, half of which are being crossed to the Cheviot.  The farm also supports 50 pure Highland hill cows, half of which are crossed with the Simmental.  Last year, Torloisk became the QMS Monitor Farm for the area.
  • A photograph of the New Generation group, taken at the Stirling meeting, is available on request.


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006



Date Published:

News Article No.: 11/12

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