LEADING Ryedale auctioneer and land agent, Alan Tate- Smith, has been appointed assistant group secretary of the National Farmers’ Union, covering a large area of North Yorkshire.

Alan, who is also a chartered surveyor, is now an agent for NFU Mutual, the insurance wing which, like the NFU, is based at its headquarters on the Thornton Road Business Park in Pickering.

Alan’s family ran The Green Man Hotel in Malton for many years, and after attending Terrington School, he worked for the NFU before moving to auctioneers and estate agents Cundalls where he became a partner.

Now he is working with Rob Hicks and Geoff Todd, the two NFU secretaries, and financial consultant, Rob Rounding who cover an extensive area of Ryedale and North Yorkshire.

Among the key issues facing farmers, said Alan, are the single farm payment scheme, which is currently being reviewed, and the global provision of food.

In addition, badgers and TB are also of concern, though it is not currently a problem in the area, he said.

NFU Mutual provides a wide range of insurance cover, not just for farming enterprises, added Alan.

In his spare time he is involved with Whitwell Cricket Club and Malton and Norton Rugby Club.