Inspirational East Anglian farmers have been honoured with national awards
PUBLISHED: 15:06 08 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:27 08 March 2019
Minna Rossi www.minnarossi.com 07984236928
Some of the most influential figures in East Anglian agriculture have been recognised with industry accolades at a ceremony in the House of Lords.
Norfolk farmers Poul Hovesen and Ken Proctor, along with Lord Iveagh of the Elveden Estate near Thetford, were among those awarded with Associateships of The Royal Agricultural Societies (ARAgS) this week.
The awards scheme aims to recognise an “outstanding contribution by an individual to the understanding, efficiency and well-being of agriculture”.
Mr Hovesen, a former national farmer of the year, is director of farming at the Holkham Estate and farm manager at Salle Farms near Reepham.
His seven-year crop rotation has been hailed as a national exemplar, and he was also recognised for his role in the Wensum Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) project at Salle, generating data on the impact of farm pollutants on watercourses, and the effectiveness of mitigation measures such as changing cultivation practices and cover crops.
He said: “I feel incredibly honoured. They talked about why they give these awards – they give them to people who help to spread good vision or engage with the public or help to drive and develop farming in many ways. I think it is a great honour to be recognised in that respect.”
Mr Proctor, a Shipdham dairy farmer with one of the highest-yielding herds in the country, is also a former Norfolk branch chairman of the National Farmers’ Union who has held many key positions representing the livestock sector.
He said: “I was over the moon with it. I didn’t expect it, but it was nice to see recognition for those who have helped agriculture all their lives. There are a lot of people who do put themselves out there and, as our industry is at a crossroads, that is becoming more important.”
There was also recognition for Lord Iveagh, who oversees the 22,500-acre Elveden Estate, of which over 10,000 acres is farmland, making it the largest ring-fenced arable farm in lowland Britain.
The farm specialises in potatoes, onions, carrots and parsnips for major retailers, and also holds accreditations for environmental and quality standards including being a LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Demonstration Farm, and a Flagship Farm for fast food giant McDonald’s.
Lord Iveagh said the award was a tribute to his 40-strong farming team at Elveden, and worthy recognition for the other organisations he represents, including as chairman of trustees for the Chadacre Agricultural Trust.
“It is absolutely fabulous, but I feel this award comes on the backs of many people’s hard work,” he said. “It is wonderful to receive something personally, but it is all about team work, so to share this with the team is the right thing to do. It is great to get that recognition for them.”