There is still time to get your entries in for the annual Farming Life awards, in association with Cranswick Country Foods
The farming sector is a major contributor to the local economy employing thousands of people and the Farming Life Awards aim to recognise the talent, entrepreneurship and excellence that exists in the sector.
As the theme of the awards suggests the event is aimed at “Celebrating Excellence in Farming” and giving well deserved recognition to the best farmers and farming businesses in the industry.
Farming Life editor Ruth Rodgers commented: “This year again there are a wide range of categories covering every sector of the industry. And you will notice that some of the awards are slightly different than in previous years and we hope this will enhance the experience and interest for those entering and attending the awards gala later in the year.
“ This year we hope to find the ‘farmer of the year’ who will be operating to the highest level of expertise across any sector of the industry, be it beef, dairy, poultry or arable.
“We will also be looking out too for a young farmer of the year – someone under the age of 40 from across all the sectors who is demonstrating ingenuity, creativity and excellence in their field. Innovation will also be under the spotlight, as we award a farmer from across all sectors who is going that extra mile in terms of the management or development of their business.
“As you all know, farming is not just a business it is a way of life and very much a family orientated affair. This year we will have a new award for the farming family of the year – a family of grandparents, parents, children or whoever who are working together on the farm or on the showing scene – all putting their shoulder to the wheel and demonstrating their team efforts in ensuring the success and promotion of their business.
“There will also be awards for a woman of excellence and student of the year – two areas which are key to the success of Northern Ireland’s family farm structure.
“Looking at the business sector we will have awards for agri food business of the year, artisan producer - an area which I’m sure you will agree Northern Ireland is really punching above its weight - and a new category for agricultural retailer or store of the year.
“As part of the awards we will also be recognising the best promotional agricultural event, local agricultural show or event, and efforts to enhance the environment and conservation, farm safety, and commitment to training. And as if that wasn’t enough there will also be the categories highlighting a special unsung hero and a lifetime of achievement in the agriculture industry,” added Mrs Rodgers.
For details on how to enter go to page 46 or log onto farminglifeawards.co.uk