Highland MSP and SNP candidate for Caithness Sutherland and Ross, Rob Gibson, has today hosted a large gathering of local farmers and crofters at the Carnegie Hotel in Tain.
The reception celebrating Highland farming and crofting featured top agricultural MEP, Alyn Smith, as a special guest. The two politicians took questions from the crowd following the reception, which included local produce from in and around Tain.
During a speech to around forty local farmers, Mr Gibson revealed that the SNP would be placing support for farming businesses at the heart of its soon to be published 'farming manifesto'. The manifesto will include measures to continue to reduce red-tape, as well as placing the SNP squarely against the cuts to farming subsidies down in England.
Many farmers in attendance have recently come out as endorsing Rob Gibson as the North's next MSP, including prominent local farmer Jim Whiteford.
Speaking after the reception, Mr Gibson said:
"It's been a pleasure catching-up with old friends and new today, and listening to very exciting ideas for the future of the agricultural industry.
"One of the major agricultural achievements of the SNP Government over the past four years is making life easier for farmers. That means cutting rep-tape, and ensuring that the support mechanisms are in place to attract new blood to the industry. Cutting out bureaucracy and reducing unnecessary administration will form a key component of the SNP's farming manifesto, to be published shortly.
"The Scottish recipe for success is in tune with many of our European partners and customers than a witch’s brew of cheap imports and reduced home production proposed in London, first by New Labour now by the ConDem.
"I'm confident of the SNP's support among farmers, who are faced with a Labour party who don't understand them and a Lib Dem party delivering Tory farming cuts down south. The SNP has a proven track record of support among farmers, because we value their contribution to the Scottish economy. I want to protect and build on our farming progress after May 5th."
Mr Smith added: