The Yorkshire Post says: Reap the rewards '“ rural leader's welcome change of emphasis

IT is the tone of the comments made to this newspaper by Sarah Hendry, the new head of the Country Land and Business Association, which are reassuring and refreshing in equal measure.

Sarah Hendry is the new head of the CLA.

Rather than focusing on the negatives, the preserve of far too many defeatist politicians as they dissect the latest Brexit votes, she is endeavouring to focus on the positives and opportunities for farmers.

This is important if agriculture is to withstand the political and economic upheaval facing the country, not least continuing concerns over future trade policy and the actual ability of Defra – and the Rural Payments Agency – to put a new subsidy system in place.

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Yet there is another reason to welcome Ms Hendry’s recent appointment and her first round of interviews. As a director of Defra for the past 12 years, she is, at the very least, familiar with the issues.

What will be the post-Brexit landscape for the Yorkshire Dales as political and economic storm clouds gather?

She will also know that the wider rural economy, both here in Yorkshire and further afield, has so much more to offer the country if and when politicians stop treating the countryside, and specifically the farming and food sectors, as an after-thought.

If Ms Hendry can change this culture, and she is well-qualified to do so, Britain will reap the rewards.