In a resounding show of confidence from members, Xavier Martin has been voted into the NSW Farmers Association presidency role.
Results were declared just after 12pm today (40 minutes before the official announcement time) with Mr Martin defeating Mitchell Clapham, Mudgee, and Bronwyn Petrie, Tenterfield, in the election.
Securing nearly double the number of his nearest challenger, Mr Martin secured 154 votes, followed by Mr Clapham with 85 and Mrs Petrie with 14.
It's the fourth time Mr Martin has put his hand up for the top job.
However, he said his time supporting outgoing president James Jackson as vice president put it clear in his mind that he could put his "shoulder to the wheel this time".
"I have put my shoulder to the wheel over a few decades," Mr Martin said.
"I first attended conference as a teenager ... I have been around it for a long time and have a great regard for the process and democracy.
"We all trust our democracy ... it's pleasing to have a good contest and have an outcome."
Now Mr Martin looks forward to representing NSW Farmers' members on issues like biosecurity.
"We have a range of threats, many that will be debated here today," Mr Martin said,
"I'm mindful of the challenges. It's a kaleidoscope of issues. There are many things that bind us together and one of the most motivating ones is that we want to meet and decide the best way forward.
"I look forward to leading a team on issues where we come up with the right solutions and biosecurity is a really serious matter so concerning for individuals here."
In his candidacy speech, Mr Martin said the future of the association was in banding together and putting resources to the right use.
"I can see many things our association does that are working well and others that need fixing and fine tuning - a lot like our farmers," Mr Martin said.
"The future of NSW Farmers depends on our ability to unite and understand our members' desires and aspirations, and to represent members without reservation.
"I believe there should be an opportunity for every voice to be heard.
"I have served the members in many roles at branch, state and federal level, and with many years of quarantine and biosecurity representation, I bring relevant experience to these current disease risk responses. I understand how all that is meant to work."
Mr Martin also made mention of some of the difficulties he faced with his candidacy.
"I am not the only NSW Farmers leader that has received threats to my life and property, or misleading, defamatory or deceptive allegations and I won't be the last to be targeted by malicious individuals," he said.
"If I may paraphrase our president, it does show I can stand up in a stiff breeze and still do the job."
Before the election Mr Martin was asked by some delegates if he as the leader would turn the association into a sub-branch of the National Farmers Federation (NFF).
"I am not inclined to that idea at all," he said.
"While ever Macquarie Street carries the vast majority of decisions that impact our farms and operational landscape, we must focus our resources there.
"It is important to acknowledge the good work done by the NFF and others and allocate our resources where prudent and available to these national representative structures.
"My fundamental principal will be to lead the greater conversation and represent member policy established here at the annual conference."
During his time in the position, Mr Martin hopes to grow the membership of the association.
"I will be very active re-building the membership with particular focus on younger farmers to utilise their skills and rejuvenate the association," he said.
Moree farmer Rebecca Reardon was the sole nomination for vice president and was elected unopposed.
For a long time, the election for NSW Farmers president looked a two-horse race.
That changed on the day of the election when Bronwyn Petrie added her name to the ballot.
Mrs Petrie explained her late nomination was a result of some behaviour in the lead up to the election she found less than ideal.
"I intended to run for the board, however, I am motivated to stand here due to the very recent, what I would have to describe as appalling, behaviour in the election campaign," she said.
"The attempt to denigrate one of our candidates has merely, in my opinion, served to bring our reputation into disrepute because we always push and fight for fair - and that's not fair.
Mrs Petrie said farmers in NSW faced very serious challenges.
"Now more than ever we need strong leadership and a strong organisation," she said.
"We need our leadership and organisation to be collegiate, cohesive, inclusive, disciplined and respectful not only to each other, but also to our staff.
"I have a firm belief in integrity, decency and loyalty."
Central Tablelands mixed-farmer Mitchell Clapham said he ran for president because community service was something he values.
"I have sat on the board of NSW Farmers for several terms and worked with various presidents," he said.
"I have previously served on local government and on boards for management for local advocacies.
"As an association I believe we must evolve, we must progress and to achieve this we need to embrace change."
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