There are six categories for which farmers can enter or be nominated: best commercial farmer, best dairy farmer, best woman in farming, The John Neason Farm Diversification Award, Devon’s farming champion and best young farmer.
In addition, the judges will choose Devon’s Farmer of the Year from among the category winners, and also present a Lifetime Achievement award. The awards will be announced and presented at a prestigious dinner on the eve of the Devon County Show, which this year runs from May 19-21.
Addington Fund Chief Executive, Ian Bell, said that there had already been an encouraging number of nominations for this year’s awards, but stressed how important they were in making a statement about the pride and resilience of Devon farming, at a particularly difficult time for the industry.
“Continuing low commodity prices are making life difficult for every sector in the farming industry”, he said. “But it is at times like these that we need to aspire to be the best; to show the rest of the world what Devon farmers are made of.”
He added: “The awards also have a more practical significance, in that we know from the nominees in the past, and from the entries we have had already, that many Devon farmers are finding ways to improve and adapt their businesses to cope with the current financial environment. Their example could be crucial in helping other farmers to find solutions, which is what these awards are really all about.
“If I were to pick out one category as being especially important this year, it would be the ‘best woman in farming’ award, because women are so important, not just in the context of the farming business, but also in the role that they play as lynch-pins of the farming family, keeping it all together when times are tough.
“So, come on all you farming men! Think of a farming woman who is doing a great job, and nominate her for an award. It’s probably the least she deserves!”
Nominations for the awards close on February 26 and forms are available from the Addington Fund www.addingtonfund.org.uk/events.
There is also an opportunity to sponsor the ‘best dairy farmer’ category. For more information and to buy tickets, please contact Georgi Curtis on 01926 620135 option 3 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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