DESPITE the maelstrom of political and societal change now buffeting the Scottish agricultural industry, there are still thousands of traditional family farmers who are not members of the sectors' main representative body, the National Farmers Union Scotland.

But with Brexit, climate change and vegans all marching up the farm road, maybe this is finally the year that these non-members will see the value of assembling under the NFUS banner – to which end the union has just launched a major new recruitment drive, asserting that every farmer and crofter in Scotland should be a member.

To make this case, it has recruited seven 'champion' members, who have participated in the production of a series of videos where they lay out their own reasons for paying the NFUS subscription, and what they get in return.

These new on-farm films, and the campaign they represent, were launched last Friday at Athelstaneford Mains, Drem, East Lothian, where potato producer James Logan has agreed to be one of the champions. Another of the champions, Tracey Roan, of Roan’s Dairies in Dumfriesshire and star of This Farming Life, came from the other side of the country to speak to the media about her involvement.

Ms Roan and Mr Logan agreed that farmers' historical preference for working alone, actively avoiding sharing information or assets with their neighbours and peers, was now a thing of the past, and a new spirit of co-operation and discussion was taking hold of the industry, often led by its younger people. While monitor farms and machinery rings dealt with the practicalities of production efficiency, working together to present a united front to politicians and retail buyers was a 'no-brainer'.

Over the coming months, the 'champions' videos, and promotional material will be showcased in the press, on social media and across various channels to encourage people with an interest in agriculture to sign-up and become a member. A new website has been created to tie in with the campaign, which can be accessed by visiting which is now live.

Also in attendance at the launch, NFUS chief executive Scott Walker, said: “NFU Scotland is here to achieve a sustainable and profitable future for Scottish agriculture. We have grown our membership in recent years, and that is great, but we have a great opportunity to continue this growth.

“The strength of our membership gives us the foundation to lobby for the industry on the immediate challenges while we also continue to influence and shape the future for farming and crofting in Scotland. We can continue grow our membership further and our champions highlights why those farmers and crofters who are yet to become a member should join us.

“The Champions campaign promotes what NFUS does for farmers, crofters and all those with an interest in agriculture.”

Mr Logan commented: “I have been a union member for 35 years now and I find it beneficial to have the team on hand to help me, no matter what the situation may be – whether it’s a query with legislation and red tape or what’s happening with Brexit and how it will impact my business.

“We need support from farmers and crofters across Scotland to fully represent the views of those from every sector and corner of the country, and by signing up to NFUS you can have your say. I would urge anyone who has ever wondered what the union can do for them, to give the team a call today as you will be surprised with what they can help with and the benefits you will receive.”