Voters made their choice

31 December 1999

Voters made their choice

It was his willingness to stand up and be counted and voice the concerns of the ordinary farmer that won Richard Haddock the accolade of FW Farm Personality of the Year.

The man behind many of this years farmers protests topped the poll ahead of Farmers Ferry boss Terry Bayliss and country sports champion Baroness Ann Mallalieu. NFU president Ben Gill came fourth.

Right from the start of the competition, votes from Mr Haddocks supporters in the south-west flooded in, all carrying a similar message – hes tenacious, committed and not afraid to speak his mind.

And some of his supporters proved as plain speaking as the man himself. "Richard Haddock deserves to win because he has a big mouth and an even bigger heart when it concerns the grass root farmer," e-mailed Mrs Parsons of Trebullet, Cornwall.

But equally loyal were supporters of Farmers Ferry boss Terry Bayliss, who praised him for the fact he had managed to translate his vision for live sheep exports into a reality.

Typical was the comment from Lloyd Williams of Rhuddlan, Sir Ddinbych, who said: "He has shown the initiative to plan and put into action the mass export of lambs and ewes, therefore taking the strain off the home market."

And even being 100 years old did not stop Ivor Lewis from Llanfoist, Monmouthshire from twice writing to FW to say how remarkable he thought the achievement of getting Farmers Ferry going had been.

But while votes for French farm minister Jean Glavany ("for resurrecting the buy British campaign") and Mr Blobby (he cant do any worse) were tongue-in-cheek, others were more poignant.

William Wrinch of Harkstead in Suffolk said he nominated his family and farm staff "because of their support in the frustrating battle against weather, low prices and politicians."

And June Graham of Blackhills, Moray argued that every UK farmer deserved to be recognised after such a tough year.

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