New CLA president promises to defend rural economy

THE new CLA president has pledged to defend the rural economy during his two-year presidency.

Mark Tufnell, who succeeds Northumberland landowner Mark Bridgeman as the 55th president in the association’s 114-year history, has identified three priorities that will be at the heart of his mandate:

  • Help farmers and landowners move their businesses to net zero to tackle climate change;
  • Promote the Rural Power Campaign in “leveling” the rural economy;
  • Support members throughout the agricultural transition to the government’s new environmental land management program in England and the proposed sustainable agriculture program in Wales

He said: “My ambition is to make CLA the voice of the campaign, defending the entire rural economy.

“CLA has never been more important or relevant at a time when the agricultural sector faces the biggest policy change in 50 years. As President, my challenge is to help members plan for the future and adapt their businesses so that they are equipped for this change.

“We will be a vocal but constructive voice around the table in Westminster and Cardiff, ensuring members’ voices are heard as we seek to build a profitable and environmentally friendly sector.

Mr Tufnell also supported the CLA’s Rural Powerhouse campaign, calling on governments to ensure that rural communities are included in the UK government’s ‘upgrading program’.

“We are ambitious for rural Britain and determined to see it succeed. Rural businesses can create jobs, build homes, help develop new environmental markets and strengthen communities across the country – but we can only do this if governments deliver on this ambition, ”he said. .

“If the rural economy is to realize its potential, we must see strong government strategies, including the creation of a fully connected countryside, a reformed planning system adapted to rural communities, additional investments in skills and a more tax system. simple.

Based in the Cotswolds, Mr. Tufnell’s traditional 2,000-acre estate mainly produces oats for the Jordans, wheat for the Warburtons and malting barley, while also incorporating key conservation measures for wildlife and by improving biodiversity. He has herders with Dexter-bred sheep and cattle on the unimproved limestone grassland. The forest is under active management.

Mr Tufnell studied veterinary science and land economics at Cambridge before training as a chartered accountant. He has been involved in CLA for over 20 years. The family business branched out into modernizing residential properties while converting disused farm buildings into a recording studio, interior design studio, wedding hall, and offices for a law firm. There are other flexible office and workshop space projects.

Victoria Vyvyan is named vice-president while Gavin Lane becomes vice-president.

About Keneth T. Graves

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