Michael Pollitt - the EDP’s Mr Farming - departs for pastures new
He is the “man in the Puffa” who has been the EDP’s Mr Farming for three decades.
And yesterday glowing tributes were paid to agricultural editor Michael Pollitt as he left the newspaper after a “marvellous career in which he kept farming at the heart of what the EDP does”.
During a lunch to mark his departure, Mr Pollitt was presented with a specially commissioned personalised cartoon by our cartoonist Tony Hall, his own farewell front page and gift vouchers donated by his colleagues.
Since starting with the EDP in 1984, Mr Pollitt has covered a wealth of farming stories from the milk and butter lakes to BSE to foot-and-mouth disease.
He was instrumental in setting up the hugely popular Spring Fling event, which has seen the number of children attending rise from 500 to 5,000.
EDP editor Nigel Pickover said: “Michael’s depth of knowledge about East Anglian farming is, and will be, unsurpassed. This has been a marvellous career for the man in the Puffa jacket and the EDP has benefited from his skills and dedication.
“The level of affection shown in recent days shows just how much he is regarded by the agricultural community.
“He will be a tough act to follow.”
Mr Pickover stressed the EDP was committed to having an agricultural editor and a replacement would be appointed.
The EDP’s business editor Shaun Lowthorpe said: “Michael began his career in 1984 at a time where a record grain harvest was the high water mark of farming’s fortunes.
“And his journalistic knowledge has reaped a bountiful harvest of stories for the newspaper ever since.
“He is a walking encyclopedia and he brings in stories because he knows everybody. He is what I’d call a good old- fashioned honest reporter and has helped to keep the agriculture and farming at the heart of what the EDP does.”
Mr Pollitt, who is planning to embark on voluntary and charity work, said: “I have been extremely privileged to have worked for the EDP and I have made so many friends.”