HEREFORDSHIRE’S very own “Mr Tractor” has won a lifetime achievement award in recognition of his dedication to farm machinery.

Sutton St Nicholas’s Mike Hughes, who earned himself the nickname during a 50-year career selling agri-equipment, picked up the accolade at the dealer of the year awards ceremony in Windsor.

The former Ravenhill dealer principle, who is now semi-retired, collected it in person and said: “The attraction of this industry is the spirit, the skills and the friendliness of people – that’s what makes it so special.”

The 68-year-old started as an apprentice with Burgess Ltd in Hereford in 1958 and later became a salesman for West Midlands Farmers before rising to area sales manager for New Holland at Aylesbury.

His later years were then spent at Ravenhill, as well as helping Amazone set up its UK groundscare division, before he returned to Ravenhill, where he still works part-time.

In 2007 he was also elected president of the British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association (BAGMA), and travelled the length and breadth of the country to raise the profile of dealers.

The award itself is given annually by trade magazine Service Dealer to someone who has given a lifetime of outstanding service to the land-based equipment industry. Editor Chris Biddle said: “There are few people in the farm machinery business who have Mike Hughes’ experience across the whole industry. From service engineer to managing director of a leading dealership, you can bet that when Mike passes on his advice, he does so with the backing of a lifetime of practical experience.

“He truly was an outstanding and worthwhile recipient of our lifetime achievement award this year.”