Borders Farmer Takes On Job Swap With MEP

24 May 2006
Borders farmer Jim Hume of Sundhope farm near Selkirk is to spend two days next week as an MEP.

Mr Hume will spend two days (30th and 31st May) shadowing MEP Alyn Smith, after Mr Smith spent a day on Jim's farm last summer as part of his annual work experience.

Speaking from the Borders before leaving for Brussels Mr Hume said

"I really enjoyed Alyn Smith's visit to my farm last summer. Alyn experienced working with sheep and also hedge planting. I think that gave him a good understanding of the importance of agriculture not only to the economics of Scotland but also of the fact that it is the farmers of Scotland that have always looked after the Scottish countryside.

"Tourism is dependant on farmers providing the fantastic countryside that everyone is used to seeing in Scotland.

"I welcome the chance to return Alyn's visit to me, with a visit to the EU Parliament. As a nation we are rather poor at engaging with Brussels, all too often we seem to be on the back foot against EU regulations. If we were more involved at earlier stages then perhaps we could be more involved with forming policy rather than implementing it.

"We just have to look at Ireland to see how well they do out of Europe. I am sure there are opportunities for Scottish Agriculture in an EU set up.

"Alyn has shown an amazing thirst for knowledge with his "work experience tour ", I look forward to learning more myself in my short trip to Brussels"

MEP and SNP spokesman on Europe Alyn Smith is looking forward to spending time with Jim in Brussels.

"I had a great time on the farm and I learnt a lot - though I'm not sure I'd have much of a career as a sheep farmer.

"It's not just important that I see and experience the work other people do, it's also important that others see what happens out here in the Parliament and what MEP's can do for them.

"Jim kept me busy all day on the farm and really put me to work so I offered to do the same for him in Brussels.

"We might not have sheep to herd or fences to build in the Parliament but there's plenty going on here all the time and it's good to have someone so enthusiastic about what we do. I'm really looking forward to seeing what he thinks of it."