The search is on for excellence in Devon agriculture as the fifth Devon Farm Business Awards were launched this week (Monday, February 5, 2018).
The awards highlight the excellence and dynamism of farming in Devon at a time of great uncertainty within the agricultural sector and are organised by the Addington Fund, the Devon County Agricultural Association (DCAA) and leading regional solicitors Stephens Scown.
Sheila Cole, Chairman of Trustees of the Addington Fund said: “The Devon Farm Business Awards are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all that is great about Devon’s farmers. The Addington Fund is deeply committed to helping the farming community in Devon. Farmers are not great at singing their own praises, but these awards are a real chance for the county’s farmers to receive the recognition they so richly deserve. The trustees are very grateful for the ongoing support of Stephens Scown, Devon County Agricultural Association and all the sponsors, which has contributed greatly to the success of the Awards.”
Phil Reed, partner and head of rural services at Stephens Scown said: “Farmers are notoriously reluctant to shout about their success, but that is exactly what we need to do. The Devon Farm Business Awards is our way of saying thank you and celebrating success. Please take the time to put yourself forward, or nominate another farmer who is doing great things. We need to give the sector the recognition it deserves for the enormous contribution it makes to all of our lives.”
Mrs Mary Quicke MBE, Chairman of the DCAA, said: “The Devon Farm Business Awards provide so many inspiring examples of how family farming businesses are rising to the many challenges of today’s world. And that has never been more important, given the many uncertainties that still surround the Brexit process and its implications for farming. What we can be sure of, however, is that the best farming businesses, in terms not only of production efficiency, but also customer focus and environmental awareness, will survive and prosper whatever the future holds.
“By turning the spotlight on those businesses, and highlighting the lessons they provide, the awards have a key role in equipping us for that future. Not just the DCAA, but the industry as a whole in Devon and beyond, owes a great debt of gratitude to our sponsors for making the awards possible, with all the benefits they bring.”
Farmers and growers in Devon are invited to apply for one of the following categories:
Best Commercial Farmer
Best Dairy Farmer
The CAAV John Neason Diversification Award
Devon’s Best Young Farmer
Best Woman in Farming
Lifetime Achievement Award
Devon’s Farmer of the Year will be awarded from the category winners.
Entries close on March 16, 2018, with the winners being announced at a gala dinner to be held on the eve of the Devon County Show, on Wednesday, May 16 at the showground at Westpoint, Exeter.
Information about the awards, the various categories and how to enter can be found at www.addingtonfund.org.uk/events