Organisations representing industry sectors are often the target for vocal objectors and outbursts. Our industry's collective representation is conducted primarily by the NFUs of the devolved regions with specific sectors having their own champions i.e. the Tenant Farmers Association, the NSA etc..
This blog is in praise of the NFUs - knowing many of those involved it's plain to see the passion, the drive and the commitment to make our industry a better place to do business. I don't agree with all that they say and do, but then that's politics; we don't always agree with politicians and lobbyists, but that doesn't mean that they aren't being effective.
I'm particularly chuffed to see the NFU's new 'next generation' campaign - encouraging youngsters with an interest and aptitude to get involved is a great thing. I'd like to think that the process achieves a strong succession plan for the coming years and that it finds people with new thinking and the confidence to introduce these thoughts. New thinking and new enthusiasm are any organisation's life-blood.
Of the NFUs I'm familiar with (NFU and NFU Scotland) their position, commentary and focus on specific issues is sound. Stretching budgets and people resources will always be an issue for them, but I feel the balance of internal and external issue management is there. Keeping the NFU machines well oiled and fit for purpose is their perpetual challenge, but if you need a vote in support for what you're doing, you have mine.