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MEP not sheepish about getting his hands dirty

SNP MEP Alyn Smith has spent the day lending a hand on a local farm, including having a go at sheep shearing. Alyn, who is a member of the European Parliament’s powerful agriculture committee, often spends part of each summer learning the industry first hand.

He visited Hamish Waugh’s farm near Langholm.

Commenting on the visit, Alyn said:

“This is my first time down to visit Hamish on his farm here in Langholm but I’m no stranger to the industry.Alyn_Smith_Sheep_1.jpg
“When I’m out in Brussels and Strasbourg fighting for the best possible deal for our farmers here in Scotland, it is important that I understand what the most important issues affecting the industry are. There’s no better way than to roll up the sleeves and get stuck in.

“It’s always a nice change being out and actually doing the work that I have spent so many hours discussing in meetings.

“From sheep shearing to learning how Hamish is able to operate his farm by himself, it’s a fantastic insight into modern farming and one that proves invaluable.

As well as helping Hamish out with the daily farm tasks, Alyn also took time to discuss a range of issues.

He said:

“From the Single Farm Payment (SFP) to reforms to the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), hearing the concerns of farmers like Hamish is a must.

“It’s been hectic over the past year hammering out the CAP budget for the 2014 – 2020 and we’ve made some good progress, especially for New Entrants and Young Farmers. My job is to make the CAP fit Scotland's current reality to best suit our rural communities, and I think we have a achieved a decent result.”