The 2015 Farmers Weekly Awards campaign is open for entries and nominations. This is the 11th year of the awards in which ordinary farmers are honoured for their extraordinary achievements (see p20).
The awards have evolved over the years, with two categories, Farm Employer and Sustainable Farmer of the Year, being added in 2014.
The former recognises the growing importance of a professional approach to managing and motivating staff and the latter the role that farming businesses play in pioneering sustainable business and technical strategies.
What makes a farming business a winner in these awards? A strong business is at its heart, but it also takes technical expertise, innovation, strong leadership, a clear business strategy, collaborating with others, adding market value and influence among your peers or even outside the industry to make an individual and their business stand out.
That’s not as daunting as it sounds, says awards director Debbie Beaton.
“Farmers are far too modest about their achievements and successes. In reality so many of these attributes are simply part of their everyday lives – they just don’t recognise them as such,” she says.
These awards are a chance for individuals and the industry to shine, which is important if farming is to maintain its support from the general public over the coming years.
Consumers and customers of all types show a growing interest in the way food is produced and the role that farmers play in nurturing and protecting the countryside and our natural resources.
The 15 categories you can enter are:
- Arable Farmer of the Year
- Beef Farmer of the Year
- Contractor of the Year
- Dairy Farmer of the Year
- Diversification Farmer of the Year
- Farm Adviser of the Year
- Farm Employer of the Year
- Farm Manager of the Year
- Farmworker of the Year
- Local Food Farmer of the Year
- Pig Farmer of the Year
- Poultry Farmer of the year
- Sheep Farmer of the Year
- Sustainable Farmer of the Year
- Young Farmer of the Year