Today the NFU Council will elect its new President, Vice President and Deputy President – except there is a fair chance that all three will be re-elected.
The NFU has a very progressive voting system – in some ways. If you are the incumbent then you need to get an increasing proportion of the votes at successive elections to be re-elected. And so this year, Peter Kendall, seeking his fourth two-year period as President has to get 75% of the Council votes to keep his job and delay his knighthood for another two years.
It would be amazing if the farming community chose not to re-elect Peter – although 75% is a very high hurdle to jump. He is a tireless and skillful advocate .
In three weeks time we will be experiencing the 2012 Cheltenham Festival where the incumbents of the four main racing crowns also come up for ‘re-election’. Hurricane Fly (Champion Hurdle), Sizing Europe (Champion Chase), Big Buck’s (Stayers’ (World) Hurdle) and Long Run (Gold Cup) are all favourites to retain their crowns but the chances of a four-timer are about 16/1.
Those four horses seem to sum up the challenges for the NFU hierarchy: new diseases and extreme weather brought about by climate change (Hurricane Fly), CAP reform (Sizing Europe) and the increased price of fuel, fertiliser and pesticides (Big Buck’s) are what might shape the profitability of farming in the Long Run.
So how much would you rely on this bunch of geldings to land the odds? I mean, of course, the horses.
The NFU, not farmers as a whole, are one of the ‘candidates’ in the Nature of Harming ‘award’ – will they get your vote?