Farming discussions to kick off at Turriff Show

Winter Wheat (Viscount). Photographer - Matt Cartney. Crown Copyright.
Norette Ferns

A national discussion on the future of Scottish agriculture will kick off at the Turriff Show next week.

At an event hosted by NFUS, members of the public will be able to have their say and quiz Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead about his vision for the future of agriculture.

The event takes place at the Turriff Show on 3 August at 2.30pm at the NFUS stand and you do not need to register in advance.

Four senior industry representatives will join Mr Lochhead for the panel and public discussion. They are:

  • NFUS Vice President Andrew McCornick
  • Quality Meat Scotland Chair Jim McLaren
  • Scottish Association of Young Farmer Clubs Agri & Rural Affairs Chair Sarah Allison
  • Brian Pack OBE

Mr Lochhead launched the Future of Scottish Agriculture discussion document at the Royal Highland Show last month.

He said:

“I have a vision for a more productive, innovative, profitable and green future for Scottish farming and now is the ideal time to consider how we might best achieve that.

“That is why I recently launched a discussion document on the Future of Scottish Agriculture with the aim of prompting conversations across Scotland about what we want farming to look like in this country and what we need to do to deliver this vision.

“It is crucial that everyone with an interest in agriculture - including people who live in rural communities as well as those who work in the sector - are able to have their say.

“There are several big questions that we need to get to grips with if we are to deliver this vision for Scotland and so I urge as many people as possible to come along to the NFUS stand at the Turriff Show next Monday to share their ideas with me and the other panel members.

“This event is the ideal way to start a national discussion about the future of Scottish farming, which I would like to see continue around kitchen tables and over the farm gate as well as at industry meetings and the like.”

NFU Scotland Vice President Andrew McCornick said:

“For farmers their day-to-day job remains so challenging and it can be difficult to look further ahead than next week, next month or next year – but, as previously mentioned, that is exactly what we want our members to do.

“If our successful food and drink sector is to continue to thrive, then it will require farmers to produce more from the land in Scotland. That needs a vision built on production and ensuring that we get the best price possible for what we produce.

“We need farmers to be innovative and encourage the next generation to continue farming and build on what has already been achieved. Our ambitions must be set high and the Scottish Government needs to follow through with the correct actions and policies that will allow that vision to be fulfilled.

“Experience has taught us that creating the ‘vision’ is the easy bit and the last thing the industry would want is to simply create a document that fills shelves and gathers dust. The hard bit is in delivery and putting in place the required steps and actions to put Scottish farming firmly on the front foot.

“We encourage NFU Scotland members to take time to engage with Cabinet Secretary and look forward to positive discussions on the future of Scottish agriculture.”