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No-confidence vote ousts Trelawny JAS boss

Published:Wednesday | June 14, 2017 | 12:00 AMLeon Jackson

Western Bureau:

History was created in the 57-year-old Trelawny Association of Branch Societies of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) yesterday when Patrick White became the first sitting president to be removed from office via a 'no confidence' vote.

During the association's annual general meeting, which was held at the Holiness Born Again Church in Stettin, south Trelawny, floor member Gwendolyn Wallace accused White of being autocratic, incompetent and untrustworthy, and then moved the motion of 'no confidence,' which was unanimously supported.

Subsequent to the unceremonious removal of White, the organisation's members voted to replace White with businessman Ryan Keating, who has had a long history of advocating for farmers.

In accepting the position, Keating reiterated his long-standing passion for agriculture and his intimate involvement with the popular Hague Agricultural Show over the years.

"It is my desire to work closely with Selena Ledgister, the JAS parish manager for Trelawny, to transform the Hague Showground," said Keating. "I also want to establish a school where farmers can be educated on different aspects of agriculture."

Keating also expressed an interest in putting veterinary service in place for the benefit of small farmers. According to him, the two companies which market agricultural products have vets assigned to them, but he said the vets were only available to persons who purchase the company's products.

"I would like to have dialogue with these companies to see how their services can be made available to as many small farmers as is necessary," said Keating.

In pointing out that most agricultural organisations have associations and boards representing their interest, Keating said he was not pleased that yam farmers were not so covered and plans to change that.

"Yam is grown widely in south Trelawny, but the farmers have no boards to look out for them," said Keating. "It is my intention to lobby for the establishment of a yam board to regulate the market and develop best practices for yam farmers."