THE Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has appointed a new farming minister, following the resignation of George Eustice.

Farmer, former NFU chairman and Yorkshire MP Robert Goodwill will be picking up where Mr Eustice left off, and help to negotiate the industry through Brexit, despite voting to remain in the referendum.

Mr Goodwill is also former regional chairman of the NFU’s cereals and livestock committee.

President of the National Farmers Union (NFU) Minette Batters said meeting with the newly appointed minister was a priority for her, as it allowed her to discuss the ongoing Brexit uncertainty for farmers – including the “devastating” prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

“I will be stressing to the Minister the importance of having food production at the heart of this new policy, alongside measures to protect and enhance our cherished countryside,” said Mrs Batters.

“British farmers and growers are ambitious, innovative and up for the challenge of the years ahead.

“We know that the public take great pride in British farming and that is something we have an opportunity to enhance as we move forward. I look forward to meeting with the Minister at the earliest opportunity.”

Tim Breitmeyer, president of the Country Land Association also welcomed Mr Goodwill to his new role.

“As a farmer himself he will be all too aware of the major issues and uncertainties landowners and farmers are currently facing across their businesses and will have an innate understanding of the vital role they play for society as producers of food and stewards of the countryside,” said Mr Breitmeyer.

“This can only be a positive for our members and the wider farming community.”