Somerset dairy entrepreneur John Alvis has been awarded an OBE in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The award is the latest in a long line of recognition for Mr Alvis, director of organic cheesemakers Lye Cross Farm, Redhill, near Bristol, who was given the award for his services to cheese exports, farming and rural communities.
It follows an MBE in 2005 for his services to agriculture in the South West.
The farm’s West Country Farmhouse Cheddar is exported to 35 countries and an integrated cycle featuring grass, cows, milk, cheese, whey, pigs and manure has underpinned the business’s development which Mr Alvis has overseen for more than 50 years.
Previous awards include the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers’ (RABDF) Princess Royal Award for outstanding services to the UK dairy industry and the RASE Excellent in Practice Award.
Mr Alvis has also been praised for his work launching the Farmlink education programme to help bridge the gap between urban and rural communities. Following its launch it 2000, the initiative now caters for more than 30,000 school children each year.
Other farmers recognised in the list include chairman of Rubgy Farmers Market Richard Heckford, awarded an MBE for his services to agriculture in the Midlands.
Fiona Highet, senior entomologist at Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture, was awarded an MBE for services to bee health.
Border Union Agricultural Society company secretary Ronald Wilson was awarded an MBE for services to agriculture and the community in the Scottish borders and north Northumberland.
James McCrum was added to the list for services to the Rathfriland Farmer’s Co-op Society Ltd and the farming community in South Down.
And Alexander Wilkie, Muller business development and relationship director, was awarded an MBE for services to British and international dairy industry and the community in Lanarkshire.
A British Empire Medal was also awarded to Anne Pack, personal assistant to the chief executive at Hutton Institute, for her services to agricultural research, Scottish culture and charity.