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Stackyard News Mar 08

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NFU Scotland Appoints James Withers as New Chief Executive

NFU Scotland has appointed James Withers as its new Chief Executive. James has been with NFUS for eight years and has progressed through a number of roles, starting as parliamentary adviser in 1999. He has headed up the Union’s Communications Department for five years and has been Deputy Chief Executive since 2005.

James Withers

James Withers

James succeeds Andy Robertson who left NFUS in February after four years as Chief Executive to take up a position with East Sussex Council.

James will officially take up post on Monday 7 April.

Announcing the appointment, NFUS President Jim McLaren said:

“I am delighted that, after what has been the most thorough and exhaustive selection process I have ever been involved in, to announce the appointment of James Withers to this vital role within NFUS and Scottish agriculture.

“Some commentators may wonder why the process was required at all, when the successful candidate was sitting in the same office. In order for the new Chief Executive, whoever he or she had turned out to be, to have credibility and a clear mandate, it was essential that he or she was the best of the best from a field of over 30 candidates from the UK and beyond.

“James Withers is that person, and he has my full support and confidence, along with that of the Presidential Team and the NFUS Board of Directors.”

James Withers said:

“I’m obviously delighted to take up this role at what is a critical time for the whole industry. This Union has made its name over nearly a century in providing a powerful voice for the agricultural industry and rarely has it been more important for that voice to be heard. There is no escaping the pressures on some sectors at the moment; regulatory, financial and animal health pressures are dominating NFUS work just now. But there is also no escaping the opportunities that stem from a renewed passion in this country for food and drink and the global trends which have thrust farming back into the political and public limelight.

“All of this presents a huge challenge for the Union going forward, but my confidence comes from having a genuinely talented staff team to work with, both at Ingliston and in our offices across the country. That, twinned with the enthusiasm and dedication of the presidential team, Board and every member who sacrifices some of their time to NFUS, makes me extremely optimistic for the road ahead.”

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