Farmer of the Year: ‘It’s time to celebrate’, says union chief

Adam Bedford: From whoever wins that award there will be something that other farmers can learn.
Adam Bedford: From whoever wins that award there will be something that other farmers can learn.
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Hard-working Farmers who go above and beyond to educate the public about food, farming and the environment have just a week left to enter The Yorkshire Post’s Farmer of the Year Award 2016.

In association with law firm Mills & Reeve LLP, we are celebrating the best farmers across the region who connect with the public to better the relationship between consumer and producer, and from field to fork.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the Great Yorkshire Show, which takes place next month on July 12-14, where a specially commissioned, handcrafted trophy will be presented to our Farmer of the Year.

In the second year of the award, The Yorkshire Post has the support of a high-profile cast of industry experts who will be running the rule over our nominations at the end of next week.

Joining the panel this year is the new regional director of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Adam Bedford. He is joined on the panel by Deliciouslyorkshire chairwoman Judy Bell and by the show director of the Great Yorkshire Show, York-based farmer Charles Mills.

Mr Bedford said it was only right that farmers celebrate their achievements as he encouraged anyone still wishing to enter to do so before the deadline at 5pm on Thursday, June 16.

In an interview with Country Week at the NFU’s regional headquarters in York this week, Mr Bedford said: “I think having something like an awards ceremony focuses farmers’ minds because by their nature they are competitive which is good.

“I wholeheartedly support The Yorkshire Post’s Farmer of the Year Award because it draws attention to farming in the region. It’s about celebrating agriculture in general and from whoever wins that award there will be something that other farmers can learn as well.”

A great example of farmers seizing the initiative to educate the public was last weekend’s Open Farm Sunday when at least 24 Yorkshire farms opened their gates to welcome visitors.

In reality though far more farmers get involved in the annual open days than the number of registered events suggest, Mr Bedford said, and this was something that demonstrates just many farmers deserve recognition for their good work.

Mr Bedford said: “The public has been on farms at the weekend and it was a beautiful day, and one of the things about Open Farm Sunday is that often there is a lot of farmers working together to put that on as these are often big events that are held on one farm and the reality is that all of these farmers band together.

“We should celebrate when we do good things like this.”

See next Saturday’s Country Week for the full interview with the NFU’s Adam Bedford.