The Isle of Man Agricultural Marketing Society is holding elections to appoint six new directors from the farming industry.

They are seeking nominations, two each for the sheadings of Ayre and Garff; Glenfaba and Michael, and Middle and Rushen.

The nominee does not need to reside in the sheadings in which they are seeking election but their proposer and seconder do have to.

These elections come at a crucial time for the society.

It was established by the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1934, to provide for ‘the regulation and marketing of agricultural products, for the regulation of the importation and exportation of agricultural products, and for purposes connected therewith’.

Although the scope of the society has lessened in the intervening years, it still plays an important oversight role in the Fatstock Marketing Association (FMA) and the Milk Marketing Association (MMA), and in the marketing of the island’s agriculture and food products more generally.

Clare Barber MHK, Minister for the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, has advised the Agricultural Marketing Society that the government legislative programme has committed to drafting a new Agricultural Marketing Bill by the end of 2024.

Mrs Barber said: ‘This is an exciting opportunity to refresh the legislation governing the agricultural industry.

‘The new directors on the board of the society, will play a crucial role in shaping this new act.’

The chairman of the society, Paul Fletcher, says: ‘I am strongly of the view that, through these elections, we need [to find] people of the next generation in farming to step up to the plate, and become involved.

‘The society is a key player in the new act and we want the next generation in the industry to be part of that process because, at the end of the day, this is part of the structure and framework around which agriculture in the Isle of Man sits.

‘Then, as they go forwards within their farming careers, what is developed in the next two years, sits comfortably with them and works for them and their farming businesses for the next 20 or 30 years plus.

‘There’s some great young farmers out there and now is the time for them to become involved and take the society forwards.

‘It may be in a slightly different direction: they may identify, in discussions with DEFA, additional roles, or different roles, for the Society and as the world changes we’ve got to embrace change.’

l Nominations will open on Monday, September 12.

l More information and nomination forms will be emailed to all FMA and MMA registered producers, however if a producer does not pick up emails then they can obtain copies from Mr Allan Skillicorn, Upper Billown Farm East, Grenaby Road, Ballasalla, IM9 3DP, the AMS Company Secretary.

Completed nomination forms to be returned to Mr John Harrison, head of agriculture at DEFA, within 14 days.