The 179th Annual General Meeting chaired by Club Chairman Keith Redpath was conducted in the Club on 6 July. 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 178th AGM were approved and the Report and Audited Accounts for the year ending 31st December 2020 adopted. Covid meant the Club had experienced an unprecedented year, with enforced closures causing a big financial hit. Government furlough, business rate holidays and VAT reductions, together with tough cost controls, meant the accounts were not as bad as initially predicted. The focus now was to make up lost ground.
Election of Club Chairman and Vice-Chairman
Proposing the election of John Lee OBE DL as 2022 Chairman, Marcomms Sub-Committee Chairman John Hardman said John has lived and farmed at Shobrooke, near Crediton all his life, and had chaired the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs before leading the European Young Farmer movement.
He has been involved with many organisations, including Devon County Agricultural Association and Devon County Show, Westpoint Centre, Bicton College, FACE, Mole Avon Trading, and Mid-Devon Show. Serving as a Ministerial EU CAP adviser, John chaired the Independent Agricultural Appeals Panel and DEFRA’s Sustainable Food & Farming Strategy. He is President of Devon Communities Together, a Member of Exeter Cathedral Council, has served as High Sheriff of Devon and is Deputy Lieutenant of Devon.
Seconding the proposal Ian Bell commended John’s pragmatism, good business sense and drive to get things done. The proposal was approved unanimously.
Proposing the election of Meurig Raymond CBE DL as 2022 Vice-Chairman Anthony Snell said Meurig’s outstanding service to farming made him an ideal candidate. He farms 3500 acres of potatoes, combinable crops, dairy, beef and store lambs in a family partnership in Pembrokeshire and is best known for his long career serving the NFU, culminating in his 2014-2018 Presidency.
He has been a council member of the Oxford Farming Conference and a board member of the Home-Grown Cereals Authority. He has an Honorary Fellowship at the Royal Agricultural University and an Honorary Doctorate from Harper Adams University.
Seconding the proposal Club Trustee Tim Bennett commended Meurig’s ability, loyalty to farming and unparalleled networking skills. The proposal was approved unanimously.
Mr Redpath thanked Richard Maunder for all his work during his five-year term as Honorary Treasurer. Proposing the election of Chris Riddle as Honorary Treasurer for 2022 Meurig Raymond said he was well known for his huge success as Secretary of the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Society since 1989. He is Chairman of the Royal Smithfield Club, has Chaired RABI and is a Trustee of RASC. His charm, diplomacy, warmth, diligence and organisational skills suited him to the role.
The proposal was seconded by Allan Stevenson and approved unanimously. Auditors
The Chairman and Committee recommended haysmacintyre continue in office, which was agreed unanimously.
At the AGM Luncheon which followed the business meeting the Club welcomed long-time Club member Wilts farmer and President of the National Farmers Union, Minette Batters, who gave a fascinating insight into current developments in UK food and farming policy and fielded a good number of questions. A full report is included in the Summer/Harvest issue of the Farmers Club Journal, due with members in late July.