9 November 2001

Pick your hero and send in your vote

By Isabel Davies

A MAGNIFICENT food hamper worth £200 could be yours by simply voting in this years Farm Personality of the Year Awards.

Everyone who has voted over the past week has had their name entered into a draw with the opportunity of winning a basket of goodies including a bottle of delicious English wine. So why not give yourself a chance?

We want readers to help us identify who have been the heroes of our industry over the past year. The awards are designed to recognise those individuals who have shown leadership during the worst 12 months in living memory.

So do you believe Gordon Gatwood of the ARC Addington Fund deserves credit for the way he has sought to tackle the emotional and financial problems of an industry in crisis? Or is your vote with Phoenix the calf who became a symbol for all those opposed to the governments contiguous culling policy?

Perhaps you feel there is someone else that needs honouring who is not included on our list? Would you pick NFU livestock committee chairman Les Armstrong (pictured) who carried on fighting for farmers even after his own herd was culled out? Or how about John Thorley, chief executive of the National Sheep Association, who has sought to make sure the government is in no doubt about the plight of the sheep industry? Whoever or whatever, mark your choice on the form and send it to us.

This year we also invite you to suggest candidates for our Villain of the Year award. We want you to identify those people who you feel have done their level best to make farming one of the most difficult industries to work in. It could be a politician, it could be a government official – the choice is entirely yours. FW has a pair of wellies ready to send the winner of this category. We hope they will make the effort to get out on a farm and in the process learn more about the reality of farming.

All you need to do to register your vote is fill out the form opposite and send it to us at the address below by Dec 10, fax us on 020-8652 4005 or visit our web-site www.fwi.co.uk &#42

Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary

Hero – a man of distinguished bravery: any illustrious person: a person reverenced and idealised

Villain – a malevolent or unscrupulous evil-doer

farmers weekly Farm Personalityof the Year Awards

My vote for the farmers weekly Farm Personality of the Year Award goes to: (Please tick one box)

Brigadier Alex Birtwistle, for using his military expertise to lead the fight against foot-and-mouth in Cumbria.

Phoenix the calf, for highlighting the tragic slaughter of thousands of healthy animals leading to questions about the governments culling policies.

NFU president Ben Gill for his leadership during the most harrowing 12 months in living memory.

Gordon Gatwood, director of the Arthur Rank Centre, for his work with the ARC Addington Fund and other groups offering farmers emotional and financial support.

Duke of Westminster, for highlighting the plight of the industry by waiving his tenants rents and making a generous donation to funds supporting farmers.

Anthony Gibson, regional director for the NFU in the south west, for passionately speaking out on behalf of farmers in his region affected by F&M.

Guy Thomas-Everard, Somerset beef producer, for standing up to officials to protect his 1000 head of healthy cattle from the slaughtermen.

Nina Planck, founder of London Farmers Markets, for her work in helping to promote UK farmers markets.

Name your own candidate: …………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I believe my choice deserves to win because: ………………………………………

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farmers weekly Farm Villain of the Year

The following candidate deserves recognition for the misery and hurt he/she has helped inflict on the British agricultural industry during the past year.

Name your own candidate: ………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I believe my candidate deserves to win because: …………………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Name: …………………………………………………………………………………………

Address: …………………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Tel: ……………………………….. Occupation: …………………………………………

Please post you entry by Dec 10 to Farm Personality of the Year Awards,

farmers weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5AS. Or you can fax your reply to 020-8652 4005, e-mail: farmers.weekly@rbi.co.uk or visit our web-site: www.fwi.co.uk