Farmer to stand for top NFU vice president job

Charlies Angels,the winning team at the Rural Stress Charity Quiz Night hosted by Brown and Co.'left to right: Victoria Brant, Charles Anyan, Philip Dunn (of Brown and Co), and Jonathan Brant.
Charlies Angels,the winning team at the Rural Stress Charity Quiz Night hosted by Brown and Co.'left to right: Victoria Brant, Charles Anyan, Philip Dunn (of Brown and Co), and Jonathan Brant.

A Normanby le Wold farmer has announced he is to stand for the position of vice president at the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) election.

Third generation beef and arable farmer Jonathan Brant is the current Lincolnshire NFU county delegate - and he is looking forward to a new 
challenge.

Mr Brant - who has previously stood unsuccessfully for the vice president post - said: “When you first stand it’s a big learning curve.

“I’ve had two more years on the council since then and I’d like to think you become wiser to how the system works and the needs of the people, not just throughout the county but in the whole country.

“Obviously it’s going to be hard, but if I’m fortunate enough to get this position it’ll be a full time job and it’s something I’ll relish the task of.”

And Mr Brant has strong ideas about what he would like to do should he win the election.

He said: “I’d like to see more collaboration between farmers, set up a movement of cooperatives and return more of the profits to farmers themselves.”

And Mr Brant wants to set up effective controls to prevent the spread of TB.

“It’s having a massive impact on beef and dairy.

“Those areas that are free (from TB) should remain free.”

Mr Brant has ideas to help young farmers too.

He said: “Long-term, low interest loans going to young farmers who would like to set up an enterprise of their 
own would be good.

“For a young person who doesn’t have history or financial backing, to get funding is very difficult.”

Speaking about supermarkets, Mr Brant said: “Cooperation with supermarkets is essential.

“They’re our biggest market and to develop better relationships with supermarkets is crucial.”

Major issues Mr Brant thinks need to be resolved include a replacement for the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme, (SAWS) which was abolished by the government this year.

The scheme provided farms with temporary workers from overseas during peak times.

Mr Brant said: “It’ll affect many farms.

“British people have every opportunity to take these jobs but they don’t seem to want to do it.”

Mr Brant stood for the post of NFU vice president at the last election in February 2012.

He vowed to stand again after the announcement he had been unsuccessful.

The election is due to take place at the NFU annual conference in Birmingham on February 26.

So far three other candidates have confirmed they will stand for the position.