Support for next generation is key to farming's future

Mark Donald chairs the NFUS new generation committeeMark Donald chairs the NFUS new generation committee
Mark Donald chairs the NFUS new generation committee
Stirlingshire farmer Mark Donald has been elected as the new chairman of NFU Scotland's new generation committee.

Donald, a 36-year-old tenant farmer at Rhynaclach at Port of Menteith and part-time contract stockman, said he believes the new generation committee should be be at the forefront of the industry.

“I’m delighted to take on this role and my aim throughout my time as chairman will be to implement more of a structure into the committee, and obtain greater ‘buy-in’ from all nine regions in Scotland,” he said.

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“We need people to come forward to get involved in the union, have a say in setting the priorities of the committee and get involved at all levels.”

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Donald said that, unlike many other committees, women regularly made up half the attendance at committee meetings.

“Having active and passionate contributions from women is not just a positive for the group but for the future of Scottish agriculture.”

He said that the new generation committee would be particularly focused on the areas of CAP reform, land reform, Less Favoured Area Support Scheme, environmental expectations and the constant need to improve margins with rising costs.

“My priority is to hold the Scottish Government to account and maintain constructive dialogue on its promises to help new and young farmers. We need answers on the capital grant schemes, environmental schemes and to ensure we have a National Reserve to create an even playing field for future farmers,” said Donald.