The NFU has appointed a new specialist adviser for farmers in Northumberland and North Durham.
Samantha Davies will be a familiar face to many in the industry, having spent the last four years working for Lloyds Bank on the local agricultural team.
In her new role, she will work closely with the region’s farming community, identifying issues that the NFU can help address, encouraging member participation and providing a local source of specialist information and advice.
Growing up in County Durham, Miss Davies first developed a love of farming through her grandfather, who had a livestock farm nearby.
Today she lives with her partner on a mixed farm near Ponteland, Northumberland, where she has her own herd of commercial suckler cows.
After 10 years working in the banking sector, she says she is looking forward to the new job, which will allow her to work even more closely with local farming businesses.
“I was lucky in my role with Lloyds to have had the farming brief, but it will be great to be able to focus 100% on farming,” she said.
“I already know a lot of farmers in the patch and I know they will help me find my feet quickly.
“But there are a lot of issues to get to grips with so I will be working hard initially to get a feel for how these issues are affecting our members locally.
“Of course I join just as we are gearing up for the General Election, so I’m sure one of my first tasks will be to help arrange local hustings events and possibly some on-farm meetings with would-be MPs.
“This will provide a great opportunity to meet more of the members in my patch – something I’m really looking forward to – so if anyone feels they would like to host an event I’d like to hear from them.”
As part of her role, Samantha will also take the lead on livestock issues for the North East region.
“We have a lot of livestock farmers in Northumberland and North Durham,” she added.
“So I’m sure I will be kept busy working on a range of key issues from sheep ID to farm assurance and of course Bovine TB, which continues to present a very real threat to the area’s cattle.”
Miss Davies succeeds Richard Potts, who now works in the NFU’s office in Brussels as a European Policy Adviser.