Staff at the National Farmers’ Union’s North Norfolk office are celebrating a prestigious award.

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Local group secretaries Julie Frost and Joe Buxton were honoured with “high achiever” awards during a national dinner at the Marriott Forest of Arden hotel in Meriden, West Midlands.

She joined the NFU Mutual’s office in the Secret Garden, of The Appleyard, Holt, in 2005 and her colleague only joined last year.

The annual awards are given by the NFU in recognition of outstanding achievement and excellence in membership retention and recruitment.

The NFU’s director of regions, Kevin Pearce, said: “Julie and Joe are worthy winners for East Anglia. Last autumn they committed themselves to becoming the most successful office in their county.

“The strategy they’d employ was going to be simple but effective – target persistent non-members, or those who had not been asked to join the NFU for some time, and doggedly pursue them.

“They’ve also raised the level of engagement with members by adapting the format and range of branch meeting and activities, and interacting with the younger generation.”

Branch activities during the year including a visit to the John Innes Centre, discussions on sugar, CAP and renewables, a farm walk and meetings with North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb and NFU deputy-president Meurig Raymond.

NFU Regional Director Pamela Forbes said: “Julie and Joe have worked tirelessly on behalf of members, offering the right mix of social and business meetings as well as encouraging more farmers to join the NFU.

“Their initial target was to be the best NFU office in Norfolk but they have deservedly been named the best in the region.”

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