The Tenant Farmers Association has welcomed Hampshire tenant farmer James Gray as its new national chairman.
Mr Gray, a fourth generation tenant of the Church Commissioners at Wonston Manor Farm, a 242 ha (600 acre) holding in mid Hampshire, said he was looking forward to ’momentous changes’ for the industry.
He said he hoped to encourage the voice of the tenanted sector of agriculture to be ’heard loud and clear at the negotiating table’.
“It is an honour to have been elected by the TFA’s Executive Committee to serve as the Association’s National Chairman for the next three years – a period over which we will see some of the most momentous changes for our industry and our country as we resign our membership of the European Union and start our independent future,” he said.
“The TFA has already had a major role in beginning to shape the post Brexit policy framework for agriculture and will continue to have an important role to ensure that the voice of the tenanted sector of agriculture is heard loud and clear at the negotiating table both at the UK level and within England and Wales.”
Mr Gray has been TFA South East Chairman for the past 10 years, becoming the TFA’s Treasurer in 2011, the TFA’s National Vice-Chairman in 2014 and the National Chairman in 2017.
In tribute to TFA former chairman Stephen Wyrill, he added: “His passion and enthusiasm for the TFA and its members have been hallmarks of his leadership.
“Wherever he found himself he has gone out of his way to ensure that the thoughts, concerns, hopes, fears and aspirations of the TFA’s members have been heard by all those with influence over the tenanted sector of agriculture.
“He has covered many miles throughout his Chairmanship and has never hesitated, when given the opportunity, from representing the TFA wherever and whenever required.”