Ar­gyll farmer steps down from chair­man of fo­rum

The Oban Times - - Feature - SANDY NEIL sneil@oban­times.co.uk

AR­GYLL farmer An­gus MacFadyen has stepped down from his chair­man­ship of the Ar­gyll and Isles Agri­cul­tural Fo­rum af­ter 19 years.

An­gus, a live­stock farmer from Bra­gleen­more Farm, Kil­nin­ver, handed over the reins on Fri­day March 17, at the fo­rum’s most re­cent meet­ing, to Kin­tyre’s Sandy Pirie.

On be­half of the fo­rum, Bill Dun­das, prin­ci­pal agri­cul­tural of­fi­cer with Ru­ral Pay­ments and In­spec­tions Di­vi­sion in Oban, ac­knowl­edged the sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion An­gus has made.

Bill said: ‘An­gus has given a great deal of his own time to the fo­rum to se­cure a bet­ter fu­ture for Ar­gyll’s agri­cul­tural sec­tor over the past 19 years and it has been greatly ap­pre­ci­ated.

‘This has been not only through his time chair­ing meet­ings, but all the ac­tiv­ity that goes on be­hind the scenes that many of us don’t re­alise.

‘I have only been in­volved in the fo­rum for the past 12 years and in that time have seen the de­vel­op­ment of the Ar­gyll and Is­lands Agri­cul­tural Strat­egy in 2005 and the de­liv­ery of tan­gi­ble ac­tiv­i­ties against that strat­egy.

‘This has been far more than just a round-ta­ble, tick-box en­gage­ment process.’

In ad­di­tion to this, Fer­gus Younger, who joined the fo­rum in 2006, has also stepped down to take on a full-time role with the Scot­tish Agri­cul­tural Or­gan­i­sa­tion So­ci­ety.

Bill ac­knowl­edged the con­tri­bu­tion that Fer­gus has made over the past 10 years.

This has in­cluded de­vel­op­ing and delivering on some of the strate­gic pri­or­ity ac­tions: the de­vel­op­ment of the Food From Ar­gyll brand, work on the Ar­gyll Hill Lamb pro­ject, the is­land slaugh­ter­houses, the work­ing farm wood­lands and, most re­cently, the work with Kin­tyre and Bute’s dairy farm­ers.

Bill said: ‘The ap­point­ment of a full-time de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, Fer­gus Younger, in 2006, gave the fo­rum the op­por­tu­nity to de­liver on its as­pi­ra­tions. Se­cur­ing the fund­ing was one of the most im­pres­sive bits of part­ner­ship work­ing I have been in­volved in and An­gus was in­stru­men­tal in this.

‘There are some great re­sults from this work and I do be­lieve the fo­rum has made Ar­gyll’s agri­cul­tural sec­tor stronger and more pros­per­ous and An­gus has been a cru­cial part of that.

‘On be­half of the farm­ing com­mu­nity in Ar­gyll and the is­lands and the other fo­rum mem­bers, I thank both Fer­gus and An­gus for the valu­able con­tri­bu­tion they have made.’

Kin­tyre dairy farmer Sandy Pirie has now taken on the chair­man­ship of the fo­rum, with John Dick­son, a live­stock farmer from Bute and who is also cur­rently NFU Scot­land’s re­gional board chair­man, tak­ing on the vice- chair­man’s role.

An­gus will re­main very much to the fore of agri­cul­tural pol­icy de­vel­op­ment in his role as chair­man of NFU Scot­land’s en­vi­ron­ment and land use com­mit­tee, hav­ing just been re- elected to this po­si­tion for the sec­ond year.

An­gus MacFadyen has chaired the fo­rum for 19 years.

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