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UPDATE: Minette Batters makes history as NFU’s first female president

Beef farmer Minette Batters has made history by becoming the NFU’s first female president in its 110-year history.


Olivia   Midgley

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Olivia   Midgley
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NFU elects Minette Batters as new president #NFU18

Beef farmer Minette Batters has become the 35th president of the NFU.

 

Ms Batters was elected by NFU council members at the union’s AGM today (February 21) in Birmingham.

 

She said: "This is a hugely exciting time and a time of great challenges and great opportunities.

 

"At the heart of the NFU is its members and I would like the organisation to aim even higher on their behalf.

 

"British farming is in the spotlight like never before and this is a great opportunity to reposition the sector in the eyes of the nation.”

 

Ms Batters has risen through the NFU’s ranks over the last few years, holding numerous positions including regional board chairman for the South West and serving as the South West Flood and Coastal Committee.

 


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She co-founded the campaigning initiatives ‘Ladies in Beef’ and the ‘Great British Beef Week’ and has lobbied extensively on key areas including bovine TB, flooding and has been a key advocate for the tenanted sector.

 

Ms Batters vowed to champion the farming industry, adding it was in a strong position to increase its potential - both at home and abroad.

 

 

On the national media interest surrounding Ms Batters being the first woman to head up the organisation, she added: “I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time but many great women have come before me and many will come after me.”

 

She beat off stiff competition from her challenger, Essex grower Guy Smith, who the council elected as her deputy.

 

Hertfordshire beef and cereal farmer Stuart Roberts was elected to the top team for the first time and takes the vice president position.

 

Outgoing NFU president Meurig Raymond, who has served 14 years as an officeholder, described the last few days as an ‘emotional rollercoaster’.

 

Drawing a standing ovation as the conference closed, Mr Raymond thanked his colleagues and family for the support they had showed him over the years and Lord Plumb, who he said had inspired him to get involved in agricultural politics in 1977.

 

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