Hannah Baker has been appointed as the new policy manager for Livestock and Less Favoured Areas at NFU Scotland.

Ms Baker will lead on a broad policy portfolio covering all livestock issues affecting NFUS members and will be responsible for service to the union’s Livestock and LFA committees and related working groups.

A qualified rural surveyor (RICS) and a member of the Scottish Agricultural Arbiters’ and Valuers’ Association (SAAVA), Hannah joins the union from Davidson and Robertson where she worked for four years across Argyll, the Central Belt, and the Borders as a senior surveyor. She graduated from Harper Adams University with a degree in Rural Estate and Agricultural Land Management.

Looking at her new role within NFUS, Hannah said: “I am so pleased to be joining the union at what is a really exciting time to be involved in livestock and LFA in Scotland. With the funding changes from leaving the EU, new trade agreements, and the ever-increasing pressures from climate change and environmental issues – there is a lot for me to get stuck into.

“Farming, and livestock farming in particular, is not without its challenges at present. However, challenges can also bring opportunities, and we have a real opportunity to shape livestock farming to fit the future," she said.

“Red meat has an important part to play in a healthy and sustainable diet, and the biodiversity and environmental benefits of a sensitively grazed hill farm or pasture are significant. I look forward to working with the membership to demonstrate this to the public.”

Commenting on Hannah’s appointment, director of policy Jonnie Hall added: “Scotland’s beef and sheep sectors are the iconic flag bearers of Scottish agriculture. Their importance in so many ways is beyond question. Yet, these sectors continue to be exposed to a raft of challenges relating to the environment and markets.

“Hannah joins our policy team at a critical moment given the challenges and opportunities ahead, as well as the need for change and delivery of the outcomes now expected."