Mid Wales

Farmers' Union of Wales chief to step down

Gareth Vaughan
Image caption Gareth Vaughan was elected FUW president in 2003

The Farmers' Union of Wales (FUW) president Gareth Vaughan is to stand down this summer after eight years in the post.

Mr Vaughan, who farms at Dolfor, near Newtown, Powys, said he would continue to campaign for farmers.

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies said Mr Vaughan, 69, was a "great champion of farming and of the FUW".

He was awarded an MBE in the New Year's honours list for services to agriculture.

Mr Vaughan has been a member of the union for about 25 years, and will step down as president at its annual meeting in June.

He said it was time for a younger person to take over.

"I'll be 70 at my next birthday. There's some very good young people who will do the job very well, and it's only right and fair for them to have the opportunity," Mr Vaughan said.

"I've enjoyed my time as president and I've made lots of friends and met many wonderful people. Among the highlights was a meeting I had with the prime minister of New Zealand who visited Wales, and the European agricultural commissioner who visited as well."

Asked whether he had made a difference, he replied that it was "for someone else to answer".

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies said Mr Vaughan had made a difference.

He said: "Gareth has been a great champion of farming and a great champion of the FUW.

"He was recently recognised in the New Year's honours list and rightly so. He will be sorely missed as president and someone will have some big farmer's boots to fill."

Mr Davies added: "As president, Gareth has been the farmers' farmer and he has also been a good politician. The secret to being a good politician is being able to connect with people and there's been no-one better than Gareth at that."

Mr Vaughan said he would continue to be an active campaigner for farming and would use his spare time to reacquaint himself with shooting and sheepdog training.

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