The 177th Annual General Meeting chaired by Club Chairman Nick Helme was held in the Farmers Suite at The Farmers Club on Tuesday 2nd July 2019. The following is a summary of the Minutes, full copies of which can be obtained by email from the Secretary.
Minutes, Club Accounts and Annual Report
The Minutes of the 176th Annual General Meeting of the Club were approved and the Report and Audited Accounts of the Club for the year to 31st December 2018 were adopted unanimously. Club Chairman Nick Helme said 2018 had been a challenging year, with political uncertainty and difficult weather. Nonetheless, a sensible surplus had been achieved for reinvestment.
Election of Club Chairman and Vice-Chairman
Proposing the election of Allan Stevenson as Chairman for 2020 Communications Sub-Committee Chairman Karen Mercer said Allan was from a family that has been farming in East Lothian for 106 years. During a spell outside farming he took a business and law degree before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant and going on to hold a range of director roles in various companies.
In 2001 he returned to Luffness Mains Farm, developing it into a LEAF Marque accredited grower of potatoes, carrots and cereals, continuing a family tradition of growing potatoes that stretches back to the 1800s.
Allan has held non-executive roles in both the public and private sector, most notably as Chair of the Potato Council and director of AHDB, the James Hutton Institute and the rural charity RSABI. He was elected to the Farmers Club’s General Committee in 2014 and has served as Chairman of the Communications Sub-Committee. He is a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Farmers and a Fellow of the Royal Highland Agricultural Society, enjoys travelling and skiing and playing golf, and is a member of the international gastronomy organisation Chaine des Rotisseurs.
Seconding the proposal past Chairman Tim Bennett commended Allan’s enthusiasm and commitment. The proposal was approved unanimously, to applause. Allan thanked all present for their encouragement and support. He looked forward to helping make 2020 a fun year for all the membership.
Proposing the election of Keith Redpath as Vice-Chairman for 2020, past Chairman Jimmy McLean said Keith had a background managing a very diverse family business, with garage, retail, haulage and farming enterprises. But it was the farming that drew him to leave school aged 15, and he now ran a successful farm business near Kelso, including 1000 acres of farming, grain storage and pedigree Limousins. He had been involved in government and farming responses to BSE and foot-and-mouth in the 1990s/2000s, especially through the National Beef Association. He is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies and has a passion for supporting young people into the industry though LANTRA. He currently chairs the Club’s Membership Sub-Committee.
Seconding the proposal, Trustee Barclay Forrest said Keith was very much a doer and giver, not a taker. The proposal was approved unanimously, to applause. Keith said it was an honour to be made Vice-Chairman and he looked forward to maintaining the Club’s progress.
House Sub-Committee Chairman John Lee proposed the re-election of Richard Maunder as 2020Honorary Treasurer, which was seconded by Allan Stevenson and approved unanimously, to applause.
The Chairman and Committee recommended that haysmacintyre continue in office as auditors, which was agreed unanimously, to applause.
There being no further business the Chairman concluded the Annual General Meeting.
At the AGM Luncheon which followed the business meeting the Club welcomed as a guest, speaker and long-time Club member the Rt Hon Robert Goodwill, Minister of State at DEFRA, who gave a fascinating insight into Defra thinking and fielded a large number of questions. A full report is included in the Harvest issue of the Farmers Club Journal, due with members in late July.
For a host of wonderful photos from the AGM and the AGM Luncheon afterwards visit our photo gallery.
For more information on all the Club’s events see the Events page – www.thefarmersclub.com/events
To become a member of the Club, visit our Membership page - www.thefarmersclub.com/membership