17:01 Thursday 19 December 2013

Farmer fighting to be NFU deputy president


SL Feature on Uttoxeter - Lower Loxley Farm, David Brookes SL Feature on Uttoxeter - Lower Loxley Farm, David Brookes

A UTTOXETER farmer and former mayor is set to fight it out for a top job in the next NFU elections.

David Brookes, who owns a farm in Lower Loxley, is standing for the position of NFU deputy president and vice president in the elections, which are due to take place in February.

The third-generation farmer, who milks 160 cows, is no stranger to the world of elections as he is the current NFU Staffordshire country chairman and has served as a Conservation councillor on both East Staffordshire Borough Council and Uttoxeter Town Council.

Mr Brookes has already been very active in fighting for farmers as, in June last year, he became involved in agricultural politics when the dairy crisis hit the country and he was part of the #SOSdairy campaign where he helped lead the way by putting forward grassroot views.

He also had a brief spell as NFU Staffordshire vice chairman before he was elected to the county chairman post in February.

Mr Brookes told the Post and Times he hopes his previous experience as a councillor would put him in good position in the elections.

He said: “I have had reasonable experience and training having been a local authority member which would not have been available to people in the private sector and my background has enabled me to enjoy time in public life.

“This will enable me to offer something to the union going forward. I have skills in leadership, public relations and dealing with the media and they are skills I can pass on to the union.

“I have never been one of those to just moan about a problem. I think it is important to do something about it.

“If we can do that I can hopefully convince those that will be voting that it will be worthwhile and I can serve the union in going forward.

“We saw a lot of major changes with Peter Kendall as president and he carried the union through some difficult times.

“Some of the other candidates are long established within the NFU but they do not have that experience of working for a local authority and I think that would be of benefit to the union.”

Mr Brookes added that he was ‘honoured and privileged’ to have been nominated for the position by 25 ‘very enthusiastic’ peers.

For the post of deputy president Mr Brookes will have to beat stiff competition from Minette Batters, Thomas Binns, Rosey Dunn, Adam Quinney and Guy Smith.

For the vice president role he will be up against Minette Batters, Thomas Binns, Jonathan Brant, Rosey Dunn and Robert Lasseter.

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