Founder Angus McCall steps down as head of tenant farmers

After 20 years involvement in the sector, the man who helped set up the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association (STFA) will step down from the leading roles he has played with the organisation at the end of the year.

Angus McCall
Angus McCall

Angus McCall, who not only helped found the organisation but was also a long-serving chairman and latterly its executive director is a weel-kent face not only in farming circles but also in the corridors of power, where he has significantly raised the profile of the tenanted sector to politicians and policy makers over the past two decades.

In 2001 Angus and his wife Evelyn, along with a group of other tenants from across Scotland, first formed the Scottish Tenant Farmers Action Group (STFAG), which was set up to represent tenants’ interests and lobby for reforms to tenancy legislation in the first Holyrood Parliament.

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Following these early efforts, wider tenancy reforms were included in the 2003 Agricultural Holdings Act, following which the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association was formed, paving the way for further improvements to tenancy legislation.

McCall was appointed the inaugural chairman of STFA, a position he held until 2013 when the current chair, Christopher Nicholson, took over, with Angus becoming executive director.

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“With Angus and Evelyn stepping down after 20 years of hard work representing tenants’ interests, we can reflect on what has been achieved and how STFA has evolved,” said Nicholson.

“It is easy to forget the challenges that faced tenants in the past and take for granted the improvements which have been gained over the years.”

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McCall, who was awarded an MBE in 2010, for services to tenant farming in Scotland, commented: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the last 20 years helping to improve and build the tenanted sector.

"We’ve come a long way since the early campaigning days. STFA is now a strong and respected organisation and tenant farmers are in a much better place.”

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He said that while there had been many ups and downs, the organisation’s achievements have been very much a group effort and the support and help of all involved had been much appreciated.

“Above all, Evelyn and I have enjoyed the camaraderie and friendship of fellow members.

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"The work has been enjoyable, as well as sometimes challenging and there has been a lot of fun along the way too.

“We both feel immensely privileged to have had the chance to make so many lifelong friends the length and breadth of Scotland. We wish STFA all the best in the future.”

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McColl has been succeeded by Douglas Bell who was appointed STFA managing director in August.

“Angus leaves big boots to fill but I have been privileged to work alongside him for an invaluable five-month handover while I have been learning the ropes,” said Bell.

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“Both Angus and Evelyn’s contribution has been immense and their legacy has paved the way for our future activities as we address the policy and legislative challenges ahead.”

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