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New WAFarmers President welcomed by The Nationals WA

Leader of The Nationals WA and Member for Central Wheatbelt Mia Davies has congratulated York farmer Rhys Turton on his election as President of WAFarmers.

WAFarmers announced Mr Turton’s successful election as president of the century old farming group yesterday following the organisation’s AGM. He replaces Tammin farmer Tony York, who served at the helm for three years.

“I welcome Rhys to his new role, stepping up from the position of Senior Vice President following his election as a board member back in 2016,” Ms Davies said.

“His diverse 25-year background in agricultural enterprise and more recent leadership roles will serve WAFarmers well as he builds the profile of WA farming on the national agenda.”

Ms Davies thanked Mr York for three years of leadership and said his new place as director on the board of National Farmers Federation, which commenced last November, presented a great opportunity.

“Mr York has been an ambassador for agriculture and rural industries in WA and this will continue as he takes his place in the boardroom of the nation’s leading agricultural lobby group,” she said.

“It marks the first time in more than two decades WA has had board representation on the NFF. I’m sure Mr York will be putting WA’s $8 billion agricultural industry front and centre of the NFF’s agenda.

Ms Davies also paid tribute to Beverley farmer Jeff Murray, who received life membership to WAFarmers and congratulated new Kojonup-based Vice President Steven McGuire.

Agriculture spokesman for The Nationals WA Colin de Grussa, who spent most of his life farming near Esperance, said industry needed strong advocates to work with the many stakeholders in the sector.

“At this critical time for agriculture when the industry is under siege from activism and political forces, it’s more important than ever for advocacy and representative groups to put their front foot forward,” he said.

“Espousing the virtues of those working in food, fibre, fisheries and forestry production, agribusiness and related industries is key if WA is to continue growing its production capacity and capitalising on emerging market opportunities.

“It’s really good to see WAFarmers elect someone who, along with the organisation’s relatively new CEO, will continue to stabilise and unify the industry against disruptive forces and set a positive trajectory for its members.”