THREE CANDIDATES will contest NFU Scotland's two vice presidential positions at its forthcoming AGM in February.

Elections for the two vice posts will take place at the union's council meeting at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Friday February 8, with current vice president Martin Kennedy, current livestock committee chair Charlie Adam and current combinable crops committee chair Ian Sands all seeking votes.

The position of president is not being contested, however, with current president Andrew McCornick the only candidate standing, meaning that he is re-appointed for a further two years.

The presidential position is held for two years, with any one person permitted to serve a maximum of two consecutive two-year terms. Under the terms of the constitution, those elected to the position of vice president initially serve for two years before the post reverts to an annual election.

A series of hustings meeting around the country will take place in January, giving members the opportunity to hear from all candidates on their priorities for the union.

Commenting on the prospect of an election campaign, NFUS chief executive Scott Walker said: “With the current climate of political confusion and future uncertainty, it has never been more important for NFUS to have reliable and enthusiastic leadership to best represent the membership.

“All the candidates standing have served the union well over many years and each one would bring many valuable attributes to the position. It is important that the members have representatives that reflect their values and who drive forward policies that are in the very best interests of all Scotland’s farmers and crofters.

“These are challenging times for all involved in our industry and I urge all members to take the opportunity to hear from our candidates and their vision for the future as they travel round the country next month.”

Meet the VP candidates – in alphabetical order:

* Charlie Adam, of Braeside, Leochel-Cushnie, Alford, Aberdeenshire, is married to Clare with two grown up children. After being brought up on the family tenanted farm on Deeside, Charlie went out on his own at Braeside in 1982. Braeside is now owned and runs to 335 acres with some seasonal fields also taken. They grow about 130 acres of Spring barley for malting and run a 100 cow Spring calving suckler herd put to Charolais bulls.

Charlie was chairman of Dee and Don Branch for four years, including one as North East regional vice chair. He was then elected North East regional chairman, serving for three years. He has represented the North East on the livestock committee from 2013 and has been livestock committee chairman for the past five years.

* Martin Kennedy, of Lurgan Farm, Edradynate, Aberfeldy, is a tenant farmer in Highland Perthshire and farms with his wife Jane and three daughters, Jillian, Katrina and Yvonne. They have 600 ewes and 60 cows on the farm rising from 800ft to over 2500ft.

Martin served two years as Highland Perthshire branch chairman, before representing East Central region on the LFA committee in 2009. Martin then went on to be vice chairman then chaired the committee for three years. He has served as vice president of NFUS for almost two years.

* Ian Sands, of Townhead farm, Balbeggie, farms his family farm in Perthshire in partnership with his father and son, and is married to Alexis with a daughter and three step children. Townhead is a 375 acre arable farm where they grow combinable crops and let out land to grow peas, potatoes and carrots. Ian, his father and his son also contract farm another 1600 acres. They used to keep cattle and had a flock of 300 ewes but decided to stop five years ago as their arable farming enterprise grew and they felt unable to dedicate enough time to both. Ian has been involved with NFU Scotland for several years and has been chairman of the combinable crops committee for four years.