John was first elected to represent the constituency of Ayr in March 2000 after winning the first ever Scottish Parliament by-election. In 2016 he was re-elected to the Scottish Parliament for the fifth time.
John has been a farmer since 1972. In 1999 he founded the Ayrshire Farmers’ Market and, thereafter, he was the Founder and Chairman of the Scottish Association of Farmers’ Markets. Before his election to the Scottish Parliament John was an office bearer in the National Farmers’ Union Scotland and Chairman of the local Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group.
John is currently Convener of the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee.
During the fourth session of Parliament, John was elected to the role of Deputy Presiding Officer, a post he held from 2011-2016. In previous sessions he also served as the Party Spokesperson on Rural Affairs (2007-11) and sat on a number of Committees including the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee, the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee and the Public Petitions Committee.
John is an enthusiastic rugby fan, and an occasional curler. He also enjoys travelling, and is interested in geology.
Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society
Honorary Fellow of the Moredun Institute
Honorary Vice President of the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland
Trade Union and Professional Memberships:
National Farmers' Union of Scotland
Honorary Member of the British Veterinary Association
George Watson's College, Edinburgh
BSc in Civil Engineering, Edinburgh University, 1974