Members of East Shropshire NFU were with union Vice President David Exwood on farm yesterday (23 March) before he headed to the south-east of the county and met Bridgnorth farmers.
The first leg of the meeting was hosted by East Shropshire NFU branch chairman Neil Furniss, who farms near Chetwynd, at Newport.
East Shropshire NFU group secretary Neil Wagstaff and Bridgnorth NFU group secretary David Probert also attended their respective meetings with union county adviser Edward Garratt.
The afternoon session saw the senior officeholder on farm with Apley Estate farm manager Adrian Joynt, at Norton.
David heard members’ views on a range of topical issues including water abstraction licencing, trade deals, grant funding, training and vocational qualifications, labour supply, gene editing and inflationary cost pressures facing businesses.
NFU West Midlands regional board deputy chair Richard Yates, who farms at Middleton Scriven, NFU Shropshire chair Graham Price, who farms near Ludlow, and county deputy chair Kate Mayne, who farms near Shrewsbury, were also in attendance alongside other farming members.
“Farmers from across the county had the chance to air their views to a senior national union officeholder and the visits were well received given some of the challenges facing farm businesses at the moment.
“I think it is vital that our members’ views are fed from the grassroots up and David was very much in listening mood.
“There were some very useful discussions and I know what matters to Shropshire farmers is being heard and addressed.”
Edward Garratt, NFU Shropshire county adviser
“We were pleased to welcome the NFU Vice President on farm in Shropshire and hear more about some of the union’s work on the many sector issues that matter to our family businesses.
“He is a first class ambassador for farmers and growers, and it was a privilege to meet him.”
Michael Bubb, Shropshire farmer, Pave Lane, Newport
THE STAFFORDSHIRE LEG
The day before, Mr Exwood was in Staffordshire speaking to farmers about the devastating impact of High Speed Rail on their businesses.
He was also part of a small delegation that visited award-winning master butcher and game dealer Perrys of Eccleshall for discussions with business owner Stephen Hill.
A few weeks ago, the business hosted Mark Spencer MP, Defra Minister of State, to discuss the regulations governing small, independent abattoirs.