The campaign to elect a new set of NFU officeholders is hotting up, with a number of candidates receiving nominations to stand in recent days.
The role of vice president is likely to be strongly contested, as at least three nominees have already made clear their intention to stand.
Current post-holder Stuart Roberts will be up against crops board chair Tom Bradshaw and West Sussex chairman David Exwood, with dairy board chair Michael Oakes considering standing again too.
Guy Smith, the current deputy president, will be challenged by Mr Roberts, who has received nominations for both the vice and deputy positions.
But president Minette Batters is set to be re-elected unopposed, with both Mr Smith and Mr Roberts refusing to stand against her.
The elections will take place in February 2019.
FOR QUOTES FROM THE CANDIDATES, KEEP SCROLLING.
Guy Smith – current deputy president (standing for deputy president)
“I was very proud to see my home county, Essex, nominate me to continue in my current role. I have no ambition to challenge Minette, who I think is doing a first-class job at the helm.
“I think the current trio of Minette, Stuart and myself have proven an effective team, and given where we are in terms of Brexit, it makes sense for that team to continue to lead the NFU.
“Given that chance, I would relish the opportunity.”
Stuart Roberts – current vice president (standing for vice and deputy president)
“My current role as vice president has been hugely rewarding and I believe we have worked well under Minette’s leadership.
“I am delighted to have been nominated for both the vice and deputy positions, and if re-elected as an officeholder, it would be a huge honour to serve the membership for a further two years during such an important period for the agriculture sector.”
Tom Bradshaw – crops board chair (standing for vice president)
“Delighted to have a nomination for NFU vice president. The challenges we are facing over the next decade are very real, but with change there will always be opportunity and we need to position ourselves to adapt and grasp those opportunities.”
David Exwood – West Sussex chairman (standing for vice president)
“Farming is going to head in [a different] direction post-Brexit. [And there are other] changes coming with climate change.
“We need to appeal outside the industry to make people recognise what a great industry we are. I am a first generation farmer and I think I can offer that.
“The other thing is delivering for members. I am a farmer and I get it. I understand where they are at and how they feel because I do it myself.”