16 November 2001

Vote now to win a £200 food hamper

By Isabel Davies

ONE lucky reader will be munching their way through a magnificent £200 food hamper in the new year and the only way to give yourself an opportunity to be that person is to vote in this years Farm Personality of the Year Awards.

Votes have flooded into the farmers weekly office since we started our search for the heroes of our industry. The awards are designed to recognise those personalities who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to fight for British food, farming and the countryside. Its an opportunity to thank them for their hard work during such a difficult year.

So do you think that Anthony Gibson, regional director for the NFU in the south west, was successful in representing his members and explaining to the public what was happening during the foot-and-mouth epidemic? Or do you believe that the Duke of Westminster should have your vote for generously donating to rural charities and reducing rent on his tenants farms for six months?

Maybe you feel there is someone who is not included in our list that deserves a mention. How about Jim Walker, president of NFU Scotland, whose no-nonsense approach was a factor in helping bring foot-and-mouth disease under control so quickly in Scotland? Or maybe theres someone closer to home like your husband, wife or another family member? The names on our coupon are only a guide and we want to see votes for anyone who you think deserves to win.

Some clear patterns are emerging in our villain category, but the race is far from run. To keep it going, send in your ideas and include your reason why. We are ready to send a pair of wellies to the winner which we hope will encourage him or her to get stuck in and find out more about the industry.

To register your vote, fill out the form provided and send it to us by Dec 10, fax us (020-8652 4005) or visit our web-site (www.fwi.co.uk). Remember that we can only enter you in the prize draw for the hamper if you provide your name and address. &#42

NFUScotland president Jim Walker took a no-nonsense approach when dealing with foot-and-mouth disease north of the border.

"The villain

may be good

looking, but his

smile is never

quite right."

Mason Cooley

"We cant

all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by."

Will Rogers

farmers weekly Farm Personality of the Year

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.

Somerset beef producer Guy Thomas-Everard 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……………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

farmers weekly Farm Villain of the Year

The following person 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 your 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 at www.fwi.co.uk