Still time to get your entries in for The Yorkshire Post's Rural Awards

We are delighted to announce that broadcaster and journalist Christine Talbot will be hosting this year’s Country Week Conference and Yorkshire Post Rural Awards.

The main presenter of ITV’s Calendar news programme for more than 20 years, Christine, has just finished hosting duties on this year’s brand new Great Yorkshire Show stage interviewing celebrity farmers from Adam Henson to JB Gill and Yorkshire’s Peter Wright.

Christine said she was “honoured and privileged” to be asked to step into the role so expertly handled by Harry Gration.

“Harry hosted the inaugural Country Week Conference with The Yorkshire Post last year and was very much looking forward to reprising his role this September,” Christine said. He was passionate about all things Yorkshire and understood the importance of our rural and farming communities and the challenges facing them today.

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    The main presenter of ITV’s Calendar news programme for more than 20 years, Christine Talbot will host The Yorkshire Post's Rural Awards.

    “Being asked to stand in for my dear friend to host such an important event, followed by the Rural Awards this year, is a huge honour and privilege for me – and I hope I do him proud.”

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    For details go to yorkshirepostruralawards.co.ukThe awards, which will celebrate the successes of businesses, organisations and individuals in the rural sector, will also honour the achievements of one outstanding individual with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

    The categories include Farmer of the Year; Young Farmer of the Year; Agri-Food Business of the Year; Rural Exporter of the Year; Artisan Producer of the Year; Student/Apprentice of the Year; Best Farm Shop; Tourist Attraction/Event of the Year; Farm Diversification Award; Sustainable Initiative of the Year; Lifetime Achievement Award and Rural Business of the Year.

    The Rural Awards will celebrate the successes of businesses, organisations and individuals in the rural sector, will also honour the achievements of one outstanding individual with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Judged by an independent panel of industry experts, the winners will be revealed during a fun-filled evening at Pavilions of Harrogate on Thursday September 29.

    This year will also see, for the first time, the Yorkshire Post Country Week Conference taking place as a live event on the same day. The inaugural conference ran as a virtual event in 2021 and was organised as a response to the growing challenges and pressures facing the agricultural and rural sector.

    This year is no different as we see the rollout of the first part of the new Environment Land Management Scheme, rising costs and a scarcity of labour all creating pressure points for farming and rural communities, who are looking at how to build sustainable and viable businesses for the future.

    The speaker list and sessions are currently being finalised for the day-long event, which will take place prior to the Yorkshire Post Rural Awards at Pavilions of Harrogate. They will include representatives from leading rural and farming organisations, as well as business, education and politics. As well as providing expert advice and an in-depth look at the challenges facing farming and rural communities, the conference will also give delegates the opportunity to take part in Q&A and networking sessions.

    Christine said she is looking forward to an interesting and informative day. “The Yorkshire Post has always been a vital voice in rural matters and I look forward to hearing some interesting discussion and debate with key people around the issues affecting the community today.”

    Headline sponsor for both events will be the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) who we are delighted to welcome back following their support of last year’s The Yorkshire Post Rural Awards.

    The BASC, which has more than 150,000 members, supports sustainable shooting and conservation. It also promotes scientific research, provides education streams and invests in outreach initiatives for young people through legacy funding as well as promoting game as a sustainable food source.

    Last year was the first time the BASC has worked with the Rural Awards and said the team was very much looking forward to being involved in both events this year.

    Felicity Marshall, BASC deputy director of communications and public affairs, said: “The Yorkshire Post Rural Awards was a superb event last year and BASC was very proud to play our part in honouring the best of Yorkshire’s rural community.

    “We are thrilled to extend our headline sponsorship for this year, taking in the awards and also the Country Week Conference. We’re very much looking forward to both events in September.”