The challenges facing Minette Batters as new president of the NFU are simply huge.
In the 20 months since the UK voted to leave the EU, we are no further towards understanding what life outside the European Union will look like for farmers.
Defra Secretary Michael Gove did little to help during his NFU conference speech as he said a lot but left farmers grasping for any crumb of tangible detail. It was a case of ‘jam tomorrow’ once again.
Unions and representative bodies are understandably cautious when it comes to dealing with a Gove-led Defra. Some fear if their words are too strong in calling him out to detail his vision for British agriculture then he will simply not listen to their concerns in future.
Yet there is a worrying catch-22 situation emerging as he fails to deliver detail and the industry sits back and says little.
It is also an industry without a cohesive, joined-up vision, showcasing what all representative bodies want from future farm policy, standing, instead, wary of each other.
So the NFU steps into a new era. Meurig Raymond has been a good president and a fantastic ambassador for the organisation, but his departure on his own terms allows Ms Batters and the top team to set their own priorities.
Her appointment as the union’s first female president is hugely symbolic and is, at last, high profile recognition of the pivotal role women have always played in the farming industry.
However, it was talent, not gender, which secured Ms Batters the top job, and her skills will be tested in the coming years.
A savvy communicator, straight talker and positive face for the industry, Ms Batters no doubt listened intently to one of the NFU’s greatest presidents, Lord Plumb, as he addressed the conference dinner this week and said it was for farmers and unions to shape what they wanted from farm policy, not for Government to simply dictate it back to the industry.
He was right and it will now require bravery and leadership from Ms Batters and others to amplify farming’s voice.