The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group and Jim Nicholson MEP will sponsor the “Beef Farmer of the Year” category in this year’s Farming Life and Danske Bank awards.
Mr Nicholson is a member of the ECR group which is currently the third largest political group within the European Parliament. The Ulster Unionist MEP serves as the group’s Agriculture Coordinator.
Welcoming the new sponsors, Farming Life editor Ruth Rodgers said she was delighted Mr Nicholson had come onboard with the awards.
“I am delighted to welcome The European Conservatives and Reformists Group and Ji Nicholson MEP as sponsors of this year’s Beef Farmer of the Year award,” said Mrs Rodgers.
“Jim Nicholson has regularly attended our annual awards and it is great to see him take on the role of a category sponsor.
“The Beef Farmer of the Year Award is always keenly contested and I’m confident we can expect a huge entry to this popular category.”
Mr Nicholson praised the Farming Life and Danske Bank Awards, describing the annual gala awards evening as ‘a highlight of the agricultural calendar’.
Mr Nicholson said: “Both the ECR Group and myself are extremely pleased to be involved with the 2016 Farming Life and Danske Bank awards.
“The awards have grown year on year and have fast become a highlight of Northern Ireland’s agricultural calendar.
“The beef sector and wider red meat industry make an important contribution to the local economy. Farmers are the vital first link in the supply chain, producing quality produce. This reality must be properly recognised by the market. The price differential has continued to be an area of concern for farmers in recent months.
“All sectors of the agricultural industry have been experiencing difficulties. It is always beneficial to recognise success and identify best practice within the sector especially when times are challenging - the ‘Beef Farmer of the Year’ award is an important opportunity to do just that.”
Mr Nicholson concluded: “The ECR Group and myself are delighted to come on board and we look forward to this year’s awards. The closing date for receipt of completed entry forms is Monday, August 29 - good luck to all entrants!”
For details of categories and how to enter the awards see page 17.