Kirsten Johnson, the first female Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for North Devon, is to address the Barnstaple and Blackmoor Gate NFU Open AGM on Thursday, November 29th. The meeting will be held at the Portmore Golf Club, Landkey. Kirsten is attending at the invitation of Barnstaple NFU Chairman, David Chugg.
Kirsten has already attended the NFU Harvest Festival in October and had a meeting with Liv Phoenix, NFU External Affairs Manager in September. Kirsten says, “I am delighted to have been invited to speak to the Barnstaple and Blackmoor Gate NFU in North Devon, where agriculture, food and farming are vital parts of our culture and economic prosperity. The future for farming is daunting – with Defra’s own statistics showing that up to 25% of farms will be forced to shut down as a result of increased tariffs and the removal of CAP subsidies. I welcome this opportunity to continue to meet some of our farmers and agri-employers, in my role as the N Devon Lib Dem PPC: working hard on issues that really matter to North Devon”.
There are 709 NFU members in North Devon, farming 227,922 acres of land, 84% of the land in the constituency. The Gross Value Add for North Devon is £20 million.
As well and providing people with 3 meals a day, farmers are responsible for maintaining 3,000km of footpaths, managing 70% of UK countryside and employ over 400,000 people. The industry is worth £13 billion to the UK economy; more than the car and aerospace industries put together.
The current Conservative MP for N Devon is set to address the next NFU meeting in January.