Last week saw the return of the British Farming Awards (BFAs). And while there may not have been close to 800 people meeting face to face at a glittering ceremony, the importance and reach of the awards may have been greater this year than ever before.
Run by Farmers Guardian’s parent company AgriBriefing, this year’s BFAs saw more than 3,000 people tune in online to see scores of farming businesses nominated and individual success showcased on the evening.
And while we as a company are of course proud of what has become a fantastic brand and event, the actual process of celebrating success and shining a light on the achievements of people within farming is something which is incredibly important.
Highlighting the drive and innovation at the heart of agriculture is key if, as an industry, we want to make this an attractive sector to work in and one which recruits the best talent available.
It is also not always in the nature of farmers, or the agricultural psyche as a whole, to celebrate people’s achievements or their attempts to push the boundaries of their profession. As upland farmer Jim Beary alludes to in his Farming Matters column, the natural tendency can often be towards negativity, not positivity.
That is why, then, the reaction of BFA winners and nominees is so heartening as they take their awards as due recognition of the hard work they have put in. It is also telling that more and more nominees are using the awards with one eye on the boost they will give their farming resumes, as well as the role they could play in unlocking future commercial opportunities.
So despite the fact glasses were raised in the comfort of people’s own homes, rather than in the shared experience of a glamorous awards night, the act of celebrating success and taking pride in farming remains vital. And in this year of 2020, when positivity has often been in short supply, it was great to celebrate the very best of British agriculture.