Over the past year we have seen the Crofting Commission and the wider crofting community’s affairs being played out in the media, wasting time and resources.
I am standing as a candidate for election to the board of the Crofting Commission because I believe my wide experience in agriculture, crofting and rural affairs can make a substantial contribution in strengthening the future for crofters, their families and the wider community.
As a commissioner, I would strive to aid the regulation, the re- organisation and the promotion of crofting.
The guiding principles must be to protect, represent and help to form the strategic plans for crofting and, with others, to facilitate consultations in the furtherance of crofting.
Above all, we need to look to the future of crofting and crofters.
Working a small croft in the Bonawe township of Taynuilt, I was elected as grazing clerk, where I got involved in grassroots crofting, and fully appreciated the way of managing the land through the skills and traditions of crofting.
I was made acutely aware of the lack of young entrants to crofting and of empty crofts, when a position arose as part of the Highlands and Islands Croft Entrant Scheme.
I applied and was successful in being appointed the development officer.
In my time, I oversaw entrance into crofting of more than 40 new entrants, which I found exceptionally rewarding, seeing the new generation achieve their goal of a future in crofting, taking on tenancies.
Through this involvement, I was asked by the Crofting Commission and others to act as an assessor and to sit on the reference group steering the 2010 Act through Holyrood and also as an invitee to the cross-party group on crofting.