NFU delegate hopes to make progress for local farmers

By Debbie Sutton

Livestock and arable farmer John Gatenby has been elected as the National Farmers Union Council Delegate for the York East Region

Mr Gatenby farms 600 acres at Littlethorpe Farm, just outside Rudston. As well as growing a variety of arable crops, he also manages a 600 head beef fattening unit. His new role with the NFU is to represent the views of his fellow farmers and growers and to raise awareness of the issues facing the farming community.

He said: “Currently all aspects of farming are facing major challenges, not least in getting to the point where farming is financially lucrative.

“We have to work with the public and make them aware of the standards we have to meet in this country and highlight the fact that if we do not produce our food here at home, we have less control over what we are eating.

“Most people like to buy meat from their local butcher but in reality they buy for convenience. People spend less time cooking and are looking for quick and easy solutions to their meals.”

Mr Gatenby has been an active member of the NFU for over twenty years, involved with county and regional livestock and cereals boards, as well as holding the post of county chairman for the York East area. His family has farmed at Rudston for the past 100 years and he is passionate about the industry and getting farmers a fair deal.

He added: “There are too many other people in the supply chain taking money out of it, which leaves farmers struggling.

“I am happy to raise these issues with civil servants and I am not averse to asking difficult questions and if I don’t like the answers re-asking the questions.

“As part of my two-year term of office, I hope to make some real progress in raising to the top of the agenda the issues that farmers across this area are facing today.”

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