The search begins to find NI’s farming heroes and champions

The search is underway to find Northern Ireland’s farming heroes and champions, with the launch of the 10th Farming Life awards, in association with Cranswick Country Foods.

Saturday, 3rd July 2021, 11:57 am
Michael Meharg, Northern Ireland Steering Group Chair of the Nature Friendly Farming Network, at the launch of the 10th annual Farming Life awards, in association with Cranswick Country Foods, with Gareth Mellon, Farming Life advertising, and Diane Burke, advertising manager. Picture: Steven McAuley, McAuleymultimedia
Michael Meharg, Northern Ireland Steering Group Chair of the Nature Friendly Farming Network, at the launch of the 10th annual Farming Life awards, in association with Cranswick Country Foods, with Gareth Mellon, Farming Life advertising, and Diane Burke, advertising manager. Picture: Steven McAuley, McAuleymultimedia

The nomination window is now open and we want you to help highlight the individuals, families or businesses that are going the extra mile to display excellence in their chosen field of work.

The awards are due to take place on Thursday, 28th October 2021 in the La Mon Hotel and Country Club - subject to Covid-19 regulations of course.

There are a range of categories to showcase people throughout the industry who are going the extra mile, particularly in what has been one of the most challenging periods in modern times.

Lenore Rice from Wilson Nesbitt solicitors pictured at the launch of the 10th annual Farming Life awards, in association with Cranswick Country Foods, with Diane Burke, advertising manager, Farming Life, and Gareth Mellon, advertising executive. Picture: Steven McAuley, McAuleymultimedia

Categories are as follows:

- Agri Food Business of the Year - sponsored by Kerry Foods

- Farming Family of the Year - sponsored by Cookstown

- Innovation in Agriculture Award - sponsored by Moy Park

Grace Buchanan from AbbeyAutoline pictured at the launch of the 10th Farming Life awards, in association with Cranswick Country Foods, with Diane Burke, advertising manager, Farming Life, and Ruth Rodgers, editor. Picture: Steven McAuley, McAuleymultimedia

- Commitment To Training - sponsored by Lantra

- Farm Safety Affiliate Award - sponsored by HSENI The Farm Safety Partnership

- Young Farmer of the Year (40 years or younger) - sponsored by Asda

- Unsung Hero Award (Reader Vote) - sponsored by AFBI

Ross Jamieson from RJ Woodland Services, Director & ForestManager, pictured with Diane Burke and Gareth Mellon from Farming Life.

- Agricultural Retailer/Store of the Year - sponsored by Tesco

- Promotional Agri Initiative of the Year - sponsored by Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors

- Farmer of the Year - sponsored by AbbeyAutoline

- Key Agricultural Worker of the Year NEW - sponsored by Norbrook

Sponsors at the launch of hte 10th annual Farming Life awards, in association with Cranswick Country Foods, which took place at Brookhall Historical Farm on Monday morning. Picture: Steven McAuley, McAuleymultimedia

- Conservation & Environment - sponsored by RJ Woodland

- Nature Friendly Farmer of the Year NEW - sponsored by Nature Friendly Farming Network

- Agricultural Student of the Year - sponsored by DAERA

- Best Industry Impact of the Decade

- Lifetime achievement award

Farming Life editor Ruth Rodgers said that after what has been a difficult year for the industry and the community as a whole, the awards present a great opportunity to highlight the good things that have been taking place despite a global pandemic.

Michael Crealey from Tesco pictured at the 10th annual Farming Life awards, in association with Cranswick Country Foods, with Gareth Mellon, Farming Life advertising, and Ruth Rodgers, editor. Picture: Steven McAuley, McAuleymultimedia

She added: “As always we are grateful for the support we receive from our category sponsors and Cranswick Country Foods who are associate sponsors, as well as our venue partner the La Mon Hotel and Country Club.

“The past year and a half have presented us all with challenges and how we work and engage with each other have been transformed.

“However, farming and the people within the industry have really proved their resilience and demonstrated how vital they are in keeping the wheels on NI plc.

“I would really encourage you to nominate a person, family or business that has made a real impact during the past year.

“We have introduced a new ‘key worker’ award to reflect the difficult year that everyone has been working through.

“This award is aimed at an individual, team or business whose efforts during the corona virus crisis inspired others in the agricultural community.

“People across our agri-industry here in Northern Ireland have shown their generosity and resourcefulness during the pandemic, with many helping to give something back. We are looking for inspiring applications about those who have used creativity, connection, and community to navigate their survival in the face of adversity.”

For full details on all the awards go to https://www.farminglifeawards.co.uk/ or contact Julie Forde on 07860 530 883.

Paula Smyth from Lantra pictured with Gareth Mellon and Ruth Rodgers from Farming Life at the launch of the 10th annual Farming Life awards, in association with Cranswick Country Foods. Picture: Steven McAuley, McAuleymultimedia
Philip Downey from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) at the launch of hte 10th annual Farming Life awards in association with Cranswick Country foods with Ruth Rodgers, editor Farming Life, and Gareth Mellon, advertising executive. Picture: Steven McAuley, McAuleymultimedia
David Neill from Kerry Foods at the launch of the Farming Life awards in association with Cranswick Country Foods, with (from left) Julie Forde, events department, Gareth Mellon, advertising, and Ruth Rodgers, editor Farming Life. Picture: Steven McAuley, McAuleymultimedia
David Gibson, Director of Agriculture ata Moy Park pictured at the launch of the Farming Life awards in association with Cranswick Country Foods with (from left) Ruth Rodgers, editor Farming Life, Gareth Mellon, advertising excecutive, and Julie Forde, events. Picture: Steven McAuley, McAuleymultimedia.
Cookstown's Robin Irwin p ictured at the launch of the Farming Life awards, in association with Cranswick Country Foods with Ruth Rodgers, editor Farming Life, and Diane Burke, advertising manager. Picture: Steven McAuley, McAuleymultimedia
Dr Elizabeth Magowan one of the AFBI Directors and responsible for agricultural and food research at the AFBI Farm at Hillsborough. AFBI are sponsoring the Unsung Hero award