Leading at a critical time for the industry

12 April 2022

West Midlands
David Brookes on farm at Lower Loxley

David Brookes on farm at Lower Loxley

A Staffordshire dairy farmer has vowed to show strength and strong leadership after he was elected NFU West Midlands regional board chair.

David Brookes, of Lower Loxley, near Uttoxeter, will represent farmers across the West Midlands at what he described as a “critical time” for the industry.

He was voted in at an NFU regional board meeting, in Telford, this month and takes over from Oswestry livestock farmer Malcolm Roberts who stepped down from the role he has held since 2013.

Mr Brookes said: “I am honoured to have been elected and consider it a privilege to represent farmers and growers from this very important and productive part of the country.

“This is a critical time for our industry and the NFU, with many big issues in the months ahead and there are challenges on farm with prices for feed, fuel, fertiliser and other costs spiralling; many are at record levels.

“We are facing immense pressure due to this and an ever increasing regulatorily burden, which is resulting in reduced farmer confidence at a time of great uncertainty.

“We have a lot of work to do to inform members of what the NFU can offer and is doing and there is a huge amount of work going on for farm businesses, now is the time to show strength and leadership. 

“Clear signals and actions are needed from Government, processors and the markets over food security and the value of our farms as places of food production and their value to the economy, society, and environment should not be taken for granted - I will take every opportunity to make this point and lobby on members’ behalf.

“I also welcome farmer and grower views from the grass roots up and would urge members to speak with me about their issues and concerns.”

At the meeting Shropshire livestock farmer Richard Yates, of Middleton Scriven was elected as vice chair for a two year term; he is the former regional livestock chairman and current NFU Council representative for Shropshire.

“I am really pleased that Richard will be my vice chair and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the regional board to represent farmers and growers from across the West Midlands,” Mr Brookes added.

“I would also like to thank Malcolm for his hard work and commitment.” 

Malcolm Roberts thanked NFU members for their support during his term of office.

“During the election there were three candidates with outstanding experience standing for the role of chair,” he said.

“Going forward I’m sure David and Richard will take on their positions and do an incredibly good job, it’s always good to have change which brings new ideas and enthusiasm especially at a time of uncertainty.

“I’d like to offer my full support as outgoing chair and take this opportunity to thank the whole board, members past and present, along with regional and county staff for their support.

“Congratulations, my door is always open.”

The regional board represents a very diverse range of farm, food, agricultural and horticultural businesses with representatives from Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. 

For further details about the regional board, to feed in views or to contact the officeholders please call (01952) 400500 or [email protected] by email.

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