THE National Farmers' Union has elected Minette Batters as its new president.

Ms Batters, a beef farmer from Wiltshire, has been elected for a two-year term alongside Guy Smith as deputy president and Stuart Roberts as vice-president.

The election took place after the AGM of the NFU Council, a representative body made up of its elected members, following the annual NFU Conference.

Ms Batters said: “I am delighted to have been elected as president of the NFU and I am grateful to all the members who have given me the opportunity to lead our industry through Brexit and beyond.

“At the heart of the NFU is its members and I would like the organisation to aim even higher on their behalf.

"British farming is in the spotlight like never before and this is a great opportunity to reposition the sector in the eyes of the nation.

“Together as a new officeholder team, we will hit the ground running and I look forward to sharing our new vision for farming at the earliest opportunity.”

Mr Smith said: “It is a great privilege to serve the NFU as an officeholder and I am delighted to be given the opportunity to begin a new role as deputy president.

“To serve as the deputy to Minette is a great honour.

"Having worked with Minette for the past four years, I am looking forward to working with her and Stuart as a close team in what will be a pivotal two years for British agriculture."

Mr Roberts said: “I’m extremely proud to join the new officeholder team and I am grateful to members for giving me this opportunity. British agriculture is facing both exciting and challenging times, and I am looking forward to offering Minette and Guy my full support for the years ahead.”

Meanwhile, a farmer from North Yorkshire was honoured at this year’s NFU conference for his dedication and commitment to the NFU and to the farming industry.

Richard Bramley is the first-ever recipient of the Meurig Raymond Award – named after the NFU’s outgoing president, who stepped down after 14 years as a national officeholder.

Mr Bramley farms 500 acres of combinable and root crops at Kellfield, near York.

He was one of the first to sign up to the voluntary Campaign for the Farmed Environment, is a member of the NFU’s environment forum and played a leading role in developing the environment strand of the North East regional pride and provenance initiative.

Mr Bramley said: “I’m shocked and completely overwhelmed. It really is a lovely thing to happen as the NFU is such a fantastic organisation. It’s great that your peers recognise the work you undertake. I don’t do it for anything other than for the industry and for my utter belief that we’re doing the right thing.

“All of the eight nominees are great members - we’re just part of one big team. We’ve all got the same idea and to be picked out from that group must have been a very difficult decision.”

NFU director general Terry Jones said: “I’m absolutely delighted for Richard who is a worthy winner of this inaugural award.

“As we say farewell to Meurig, one of our longest serving post-war national officeholders, we wanted to mark his tenure and also acknowledge what engaged grassroots members do for the organisation, highlighting best practice and encouraging others to act similarly."

Mr Jones added: “Richard is the embodiment of what the NFU is all about. He’s one of those unsung farming heroes who provide an authentic voice as part of NFU campaigns and who lobby tirelessly for a better trading environment both politically and commercially.