Dumfriesshire farmer Andrew McCornick was elected as the organisation’s 62nd president at a packed annual general meeting in Glasgow.
McCornick, who had served two years as vice-president, will lead the union through what is likely to be one of the most challenging periods in its 104-year history.
He was announced a clear winner after one round of voting in a contest which had seen him stand against Fife farmer Allan Bowie, who had been president for two years, and Borders farmer Rob Livesey, a vice-president for four years.
Two new vice-president were also elected at the meeting – Perthshire hill farmer Martin Kennedy, who had been closely involved in negotiations over new support measures to replace the current less favoured area support scheme as hill farming committee chairman, and Gary Mitchell from Wigtownshire, who had been regional chairman for Dumfries and Galloway and a former milk committee chairman.
After the vote, McCornick – who had promised a more “gloves-off” approach during the run-up to the election – said there were difficult and challenging times ahead.
“But I have been given a mandate by members to represent them – I see the membership as part of the team – and I am honoured to carry their message forward,” he said.
“It is a big operation to get our views on the importance of Scottish farming in to the highest places in government so let’s get stuck in. We are on a mission to take this industry forward so let’s make it count.”