Essex farmer and journalist Guy Smith has been awarded the Royal Agricultural Society of England’s (RASE) Outstanding Communicator award. 

The award is presented to an individual judged to have made an outstanding contribution towards the advancement of public understanding and awareness of rural land use and agricultural practice in Great Britain.

RASE chairman of the awards committee, Humphrey Salwey, said: “Guy Smith is an exceptional and sometimes controversial speaker.

“He is a great independent voice for UK agriculture and the society is pleased to reward his efforts in the promotion of our industry.”

Mr Smith, who farms 1000 acres of combinable crops and 200 acres of conservation initiatives at Wigboro Wick Farm, St Osyth, Essex is a Nuffield scholar and NFU member.

He passionately believes that farmers must do more to promote their industry and has edited the free farming information leaflet, ‘Farm, Food and the Countryside’ which has recently been updated.

Mr Smith had 100,000 printed and so far 85,000 have gone out. But he still has 15,000 left and if people want a pack of 100 they can just send £12 to cover postage (cheques made out to VOBA) to me at Pump House, Wigboro Wick, St.Osyth,Essex. CO16 8ER.

To celebrate Mr Smith’s Award FW asked him for his three wishes as regards the farming industry and communication. His full message can be read in Farmers Weekly on Friday (20 July).

But his three wishes can be summarised as the following:

  • That farmers should stop presenting themselves as a failing, problematic industry. He says dynamic successful industries present themselves as such and while people do have genuine problems the solution is not to “harp” on about them.
  • For farmers to acknowledge that public ignorance about farming is down to the industry and is not the fault of consumers. It is up to the industry to sort thing out.
  • For the Red Tractor mark to get the promotional budget it needs.

What do you think of Mr Smith’s thoughts? Let us know on the forums