New chairman for Warwickshire NFU

06 January 2022

West Midlands
Mark Meadows on farm at Alderminster

Mark Meadows on farm at Alderminster

A South Warwickshire farmer has been voted in as NFU county chairman and will help to bolster regional agriculture and horticulture.

Alderminster farmer Mark Meadows was named county chairman at Warwickshire NFU annual open meeting on 4 January.

He farms with his wife, Emily, and parents and takes over the senior union officeholder position from out-going chairman Rupert Inkpen, of Knowle, near Solihull.

Mark’s father Jim was county chairman in 2012 and 2013 and has held a variety of other officeholder posts, he is currently NFU West Midlands tenants group chair.

The family grow winter wheat and barley, oil seed rape, winter beans, spring wheat, barley and forage maize for a local dairy farmer in exchange for manure, to fertilise the land, a further straw for muck deal is in place with another local dairy farmer.

At the annual open meeting, which was held virtually due to Covid-19, Mr Inkpen thanked county farmers, NFU staff and his family for their support during his time as chairman.

He said: “Looking back on the last two years as county chair I can hardly believe how different the position turned out to be compared to my expectations. 

“Almost as soon as I started the job the whole country went into lockdown.

“I would like to thank everyone for their support, it has been a challenge being chairman through both Brexit and the pandemic.

“Many thanks to county adviser George Bostock for all his help over the last two years and for putting up with me complaining about another Microsoft Teams meeting. 

“Also, thanks to Mark Meadows for all his support and for stepping in when I have been unable to attend some online events.

“Good luck for the next two years and I hope things get back to some sort of pre Covid normality.

“Finally, I hope you all have a prosperous year ahead.”

Mr Inkpen’s two-year term officially comes to an end at NFU Conference and annual general meeting, in Birmingham, in February.

The county is currently looking for a deputy chairman to fill the post after Mr Meadows stepped up as chairman.

Wheat field Cambridgeshire_64325

Mark, who is also NFU West Midlands combinable crops board deputy chairman, said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Rupert for chairing Warwickshire over the last two years.

“The Covid restrictions have not made it easy, and he has done a sterling job under difficult circumstances.

“I look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead and representing Warwickshire farmers and growers.”

On the Meadows’ family farm, they are committed to cereal crop production, but they also take their environmental responsibilities seriously.

The family has solar panels on some of their buildings, a renewal heat incentive woodchip system and are in a mid-tier countryside stewardship agreement.

They are trialling and adopting new production methods and looking at enhancing biodiversity and improved farmland soil as a store for carbon.

Other industry business was discussed at the annual meeting including commodity board reports and branch news.

The best county group for NFU membership achievement went to the Central Warwickshire group office, at Stoneleigh, while the Warwickshire Challenge Cup was awarded to the South Warwickshire group, made up of Stratford and Shipston branches.

For further information about the deputy chairman role, the NFU’s lobbying work or to join the union, farmers and growers can contact their local group secretary or Warwickshire NFU county adviser George Bostock on 02476 858837.

 

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