As Nigel Miller steps down after four years at the helm, the union’s current vice-presidents Allan Bowie and Rob Livesey will stand against current combinable crops board chairman Andrew Moir in the battle to succeed him.
The elections will take place tomorrow (Tuesday) at the union’s AGM and council meeting in St Andrews. Land reform, CAP and the implications of the no vote to the independence referendum will be high on the agenda as political heavyweights including Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead and Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael address NFUS members.
Mr Livesey and Mr Moir will also stand for the two new vice presidential positions along with Andrew McCornick, Kelvin Pate and John Smith.
Hustings events have been taking place throughout January at regional board AGMs the length and breadth of Scotland.
Mr Bowie, an arable farmer from north east Fife, has served as a vice-president for the last five years, gaining valuable experience working for all sectors of the industry.
A key player in the union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) negotiations, he believes the next part of the policy’s implementation is equally as important.
He is pitched against mixed farmer Rob Livesey, Melrose, Borders, who served as the union’s livestock committee chairman for four years.
Mr Livesey believes his experience of the industry leaves him best positioned to continue the work of the outgoing president.
Laurencekirk farmer Andrew Moir’s time as combinable crops committee chairman has given him a good grounding in policy formulation, political lobbying and member representation in Edinburgh and Brussels.
Mr Moir believes this, coupled with his wider agribusiness experience including his time as chairman of Ringlink and at AgriScot, sees him as the right candidate for the job.
The race for the two vice-presidential roles will also be hotly contested.
Beef and sheep farmer Andrew McCornick of Barnbackle, Dumfries, has been a member of the union for many years and sits on the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme committee as well as being regional board chairman for Dumfries and Galloway.
Kelvin Pate runs a mixed farm near Gifford and has been involved with the union for more than 10 years after starting as a livestock monitor. He is currently the chairman of Quality Meat Scotland’s Peebles monitor farm.
Kintyre farmer John Smith served five years on the board of directors as chairman of the legal and technical committee. He has also been a member of the remunerations and finance committees, as well as being a past national chairman of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs.
Allan Bowie, Strathkinness High Road, St Andrews
Rob Livesey, Catshawhill, Melrose
Andrew Moir, Thornton Mains, Howe O the Mearns
Andrew McCornick, Barnbackle, Dumfries
Kelvin Pate, Gifford, East Lothian
John Smith, Kintyre, Argyll and Bate