Fifth-generation Fenland farmer to become Cambridgeshire NFU’s first female chair
A fifth-generation Fenland farmer will become the first female chair of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Cambridgeshire branch.
Alison Morris said she is looking forward to helping to ensure farmers’ voices in the county are heard.
Miss Morris is an arable farmer, based near March, in the constituency of the recently-appointed Defra Secretary of State Steve Barclay, the North East Cambridgeshire MP.
She said: “I think generally politicians need to fully understand what the impact of their decisions will be for ordinary farmers.
“I work on a medium-sized arable family farm in Fenland where I grow root crops and sugar beet. I’m in a good position to understand the issues and pressures ordinary farmers are facing and I’m looking forward to doing my bit to help ensure that Cambridgeshire farmers’ voices are heard.
“Farmers need to have a collective voice and the NFU does a really important job in making sure that happens.”
She added: “I have had Steve Barclay out on farm in the past and have invited him to come out again.”
Miss Morris will replace Mat Smith as Cambridgeshire NFU chair at the national NFU Conference, at Birmingham, in February.
The news of her forthcoming appointment was confirmed at the annual meeting of the Cambridgeshire NFU branch on Wednesday, November 22.
She said of becoming the county’s first female NFU chair, “To be honest, it’s not such a big deal these days.
“Twenty years ago everyone around here knew who I was as there weren’t many women working in farming but now I see lot of female farmers around.”
Miss Morris was formerly the chair of March and Chatteris branch.
She said: “I have had so much support from that branch and that has encouraged me to go for this role.”
NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw was the guest speaker at the Cambridgeshire NFU annual meeting.
He discussed a range of issues with members including national food security, fairness in the supply chain, watercourse management, farm support payment schemes and the forthcoming general election.
He said: "We are facing a pivotal time for the farming industry as we move towards the next general election.
"The rural vote is going to be crucial for all political parties and this puts us in a good position to have our voices heard.
"The NFU will be releasing our manifesto in December.
"The government and retailers need to demonstrate that they take national food security seriously and fairness in the supply chain is a key part of this.
"We need action, not just words.
"We need policy and planning to properly address the issue.
"The long-term consequences of not having a thriving domestic food industry are unthinkable."