THE country’s top farming leader Minette Batters has joined the campaign to save an under threat agricultural college.

Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), is backing Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, who is fighting to save Newton Rigg College in Penrith from closure this summer.

This comes after Dr Hudson wrote a letter to the Prime Minister last week, co-signed by MPs from Cumbria, the Borderlands and neighbouring region, asking for his backing in securing a viable future for the college.

Ms Batters said: “I was very happy to support Neil’s campaign to save Newton Rigg. Institutions such as Newton Rigg are essential in educating the farmers of tomorrow. I know Neil has been a champion of agricultural interests and animal welfare in his constituency since he entered Parliament and this campaign further demonstrates that. I urge everyone to work together with Government to secure a smooth transition to a new provider. Importantly, Newton Rigg can play a role in achieving the Government’s net-zero and environmental goals as those educated there will be the ones implementing and driving the necessary changes in the years to come.”

Dr Hudson said:“The local and regional NFU has always been very supportive of my campaign to save the college. The NFU is an influential organisation in the agricultural sector, with over 55,000 members and having them lend their voice adds to the groundswell of local opinion.”