THE WINNING entry in the NFU‘s Red Tractor logo promise competition has been announced as: “I promise to treat each of my cows as she deserves: molly-coddled, manicured and milked.”

NFU president Tim Bennett named dairy farmer Stephen Hardman as the winner of the union’s Something for Your Promises competition at Smithfield Show on Thurs (Dec 2).

Mr Hardman, who farms 36ha (90 acre) in Goosnargh near Preston, Lancs, won the top prize – a £29K Massey Ferguson tractor.

“I can‘t believe I‘ve won. I came up with the winning promise whilst sitting at the kitchen table with my family.

“All my promises were straight from the heart, but my wife helped me with the wording. We wanted to make them easily understood by the consumer,” Mr Hardman said.

“I‘m absolutely delighted. I‘m a fairly small dairy farmer, and a boost like this makes all the difference,” he added.

The competition, which was sponsored by Massey Ferguson and Agricredit, involved farmers making promises about the food they produce and the way they produce it.

The union intends to use the pledges as part of a radio and poster campaign delivered under the strapline: Red Tractor Farmers deliver produce with a promise.

Other promises short-listed for the big prize were:

Clive John Owen, N. Yorks: “I promise not to spray the large nettlebeds at the edge of our hay field as the butterflies seem to thrive there.”

John Codd, Pembs: “I promise to look after my livestock the way I would wish them to look after me if the roles were reversed.”

Peter Haddon, Warks: “I promise to be enthusiastic and good humoured even when the weather forecast is wrong!”

Andrew Wace, Norfolk: “I promise that what I sell is fit for a prince and my children.”

Philip Glanvil, Exeter: “I promise that my customers are always welcome to meet me and watch their food being produced.”

George Atkinson, Hants: “I promise total traceability from field to store to table.”