LOTHIAN FARM manager, Bill Gray, has been announced as the new chairman of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, replacing Jimmy Warnock, who has completed his two-year term.

Appointed as Chairman Designate in 2018, Bill is currently in his fourth term as a director of RHASS, where he has been involved in many capacities over the last twenty years, taking on roles in trade stand stewarding as well as becoming chief steward of carparks in 2006, and chief steward of parades in 2015.

Holding an HND in Agriculture from the West of Scotland Agricultural College, Bill is an active member of the agri industry, taking on roles in many committees and local societies. He is currently a director of Dalkeith Farmers, past director and chairman of the Lothian Machinery Ring, and past chairman of Dalkeith Agricultural Society.

At home, Bill has been farm and estate manager at Preston Hall Farms, an arable farm growing combinable crops, since 1994, when he moved from Northamptonshire with his wife Janie and daughter Sarah. At Preston Hall Farms, Bill is currently co-ordinating the Lothian Monitor Farm project 2018-2020 jointly with Peter Eccles at Saughland Farm.

Speaking about his new position, Bill commented: “I am hugely honoured to take on this role in what is one of the most prestigious agricultural organisations in the world. My ‘apprenticeship’ in the society over the past twenty years, and particularly my four years on the executive committee, will stand me in good stead as I take on the chairmanship.”

Commenting on the new appointment, RHASS chief executive Alan Laidlaw said: “Bill has played a key role in RHASS for many years, and his dedication and commitment to the organisation, and the agri sector as a whole, is outstanding. I look forward to working alongside him to drive the organisation forward, and ensure it continues to meet the needs of our members.”