With the 2015 British Farming Awards taking place on Thursday, October 15, we listen to what farmers and industry professionals constitute as a ’farming hero’ in the run-up to the big day.
Farmers Guardian Farming Hero award was introduced to recognise individuals who are determined never to give up in the face of adversity and inspire change in others.
Every person faces their own challenges and instead of shying away from tackling them head on, there are certain people who call upon their resilience and strength of spirit to make a difference in the most impossible of circumstances.
We talk to farmers and industry professionals about what they believe makes a Farming Hero.
“A farming hero is someone who does something extraordinary. No-one wakes up in the morning and decides they want to be a farming hero, it is just something which comes about. Recipients of the award will not think they are hero, they will of just been doing what they thought was right. There is no other industry which rallies round in a time of need like agriculture.”
Ed Ford, arable farmer, Essex
"A farming hero is someone who goes above and beyond his normal day-to-day role, is selfless and shows no bounds in going out of their way to help others in times of need. They also show outstanding commitment to the agricultural community and have an ability to inspire others to help them achieve their objectives."
Andrew Ward, arable farmer, Roy Ward Farms
“I think a farming hero needs to be someone who has stood up and done things differently, bringing fresh thinking to the particular sector of agriculture with which they are involved. They should be advocates for UK agriculture but not afraid to challenge the status quo.”
Rob Hitch, farm accountant and Agrihive ambassador
“A farming hero does what they see needs doing without expecting any return. Farming heroes put their heart and soul into helping others in their communities, encouraging others to join them along the way. They see light in the darkest of days and seize the opportunity to make a difference in the world around them.”
Hannah Talbot, chairman of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs
“A farming hero may come in all guises; one which may go the extra mile to help a friend, neighbour or community or someone’s whose selflessness is ever prevalent and against all odds seek to find the strength, whether it be practical or mental, to assist and inspire others.”
Jess Townson, chartered building surveyor, A.J.H Associates
"We more often hear of those who do great feats of daring, but there are many heroes in the farming community who who just get on with helping and inspiring others without seeking nay form of recognition-we need to recognise these practical and caring people and let them bathe in the limelight for a few minutes."
Tony Asson, senior lecturer in Land, Farm and Agri-business management department at Harper Adams