The Agricultural Engineers Association has announced the appointment of their new President-Elect for 2020-2021, Les Malin.
Les is managing director of Etesia UK and has been an active member of the AEA for over 14 years.
For the first time in their very long history, the AEA has appointed a President-Elect. The position is designated until such a time as the usual investiture of the President, a nomination from the AEA Board of Directors, which is normally ratified at the Annual General Meeting, can take place. Sadly, this year's AGM had to be postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Les commented on the alternative course of action, "First of all I would like to thank the AEA Board of Directors for nominating me to be the next President of the AEA and as President-Elect in the interim period. It is indeed against a backdrop of very uncertain and difficult times. With COVID 19 now having taken over from Brexit as the focus of everyone in the UK, the work of the AEA has to adapt like many other businesses and groups."
As President-Elect of the AEA Les' role will be to lead the Board of Directors, while the farm equipment and outdoor power equipment councils and specialist groups on manufacturing, training and education, chemical applications, sprayer testing, service management and all-terrain vehicles focus on current issues and initiatives.
Ruth Bailey, CEO and Director General of the AEA said, "It is indeed very strange times. We are delighted however, to have Les as our President-Elect and welcome his knowledge and experience within the industry to guide us through."
Les' early background is rooted in agriculture where, in his early years, he worked on a mixed farm and would also use the farm equipment for contracting jobs. He then started his own contracting business in his 20s. In the mid 1990s, he made his move to outdoor power equipment as area manager for Polaris, after which he worked at Amazone Grounds Care before finally moving to Etesia as an ASM, then general manager and finally managing director.
Les has many years of experience both within agriculture and the outdoor power equipment sector and said of the future, "This virus has shown us more than ever that technology has to be the key forward for all of us, we have to embrace the future."
"Forget the past and show our customers that we can offer expertise, money saving machinery, environmentally efficient solutions be it robotics in agricultural or the outdoor power sectors. We as an industry must embrace these modern methods to safeguard our futures and entice the younger generation into a sector of employment that few people leave if they actively engage in its culture and history."
"Stay safe, listen to the government and the advice of the NHS. It is for the safety of all of us and our families."
Les' full inaugural speech can be found via the AEA website here.