FARMING MATTERS: Making history with first lady president

Minette Batters, the newly elected president of the National Farmers Union, pictured when she visited the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire NFU AGM in November last year. Picture copyright Heather Jan Brunt
Minette Batters, the newly elected president of the National Farmers Union, pictured when she visited the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire NFU AGM in November last year. Picture copyright Heather Jan Brunt

The National Farmers Union has made history by electing their first female president, Minette Batters, at the recent AGM.

Wiltshire farmer Ms Batters follows in the footsteps of Meurig Raymond who decided to step down after two two year terms at the helm.

She takes up the mantle at an important time in the agricultural world, as we move towards Brexit.

She 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.”

Ms Batters may have made history but her appointment is well deserved after a lifetime devoted to serving the farming community in various ways.

I met her when she came to speak at a meeting of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire NFU members in November last year and she was filled with passion and vigour for the future of farming and seemed determined to do her best by her fellow farmers.

She grew up living and working on a farm with no succession tenancy available. It wasn’t until 1998 that she was able to secure a long term Farm Business Tenancy.

She built the business from nothing to over 300 head of stock with a herd of pedigree Hereford cattle running alongside a herd of 100 Simmental cross suckler cows and she specialises in selling premium store cattle.

She also runs a horse livery, a wedding and corporate events venue and a catering business and she co founded the campaigning initiatives Ladies in Beef and Great British Beef Week.

She told the BBO NFU members: “My heart is in farming, I never set out to have a wedding venue, but it’s been a great contribution to the business.”