NATIONAL Farmers Union (NFU) president Minette Batters is to be the guest speaker at the inaugural Three Counties Farming Awards.

Mrs Batters will attend a gala dinner and presentation evening at the Three Counties Showground on Thursday, June 13, where awards will be presented in 12 categories.

A farmer and food producer herself, the farming union leader knows first-hand the hard work and high standards involved in producing food in Britain.

She has been championing the high quality of food in the UK and encouraging farmers and shoppers to pledge their support to campaigns such as Red Tractor.

She has called on the industry to unite behind the Red Tractor scheme to avoid potential food security issues post-Brexit.

She says it’s vital to champion British food to protect against sub-standard imports and grow the market for high welfare domestic produce.

“We need a far more honest, open, transparent labelling system; we need to come behind one brand identity. Assurance has a huge part to play, if we step back and let cheap ingredients come in and slap the Union Jack on, it’s going to work against us and what we’ve built for 20 years,” she has said.

So it is not surprising that Mrs Batters happily agreed to support Newsquest’s first farming awards, which also champion farmers.

She first became aware of the awards when they were announced by TV presenter and farming ambassador Adam Henson at the Malvern Farming Conference at the Three Counties Showground last autumn where she was a speaker.

The awards are a celebration of the region’s farmers and the food they produce. The high quality entries being submitted are a clear reminder that our constantly rising food standards need to be recognised and poorer quality imports kept at bay.

Fittingly, the awards evening will include a celebration dinner of locally produced food.

In previous interviews with Three Counties Farmer, Mrs Batters has told how in addition to her NFU commitments she runs a tenanted family farm in Wiltshire.

The mixed farming business includes a 100-cow continental cross suckler herd and a small herd of pedigree Herefords as well as sheep and arable enterprises.

Diversification includes the conversion of a 17th-century tithe barn into a wedding and corporate events venue and horse liveries.

She co-founded the campaigning initiatives Ladies in Beef and the Eat British Beef Week. She is also a Trustee of Farm Africa.

She has been an NFU member from grassroots through to county chairman. She has served as Wiltshire’s Council delegate and also as regional board chairman for the South West.

Minette has also been a member of the NFU governance board and served as NFU deputy president for four years from 2014 to 2018.

Entries have been rolling in for the awards, which close for nominations on Wednesday, April 10.

They are quick and easy to enter via an online form. Just go to the website below.

Categories include sheep, cattle, pig, poultry, fruit/hop and arable farmer of the year, as well as young farmer, farming contractor and farming hero.

Awards will also be presented for the best family-run farm and best farm exhibiting sustainability and diversification.

The awards are being organised by Newsquest Media Group, publisher of the Three Counties Farmer, and its sister newspapers and websites the Stroud News and Journal, Gloucestershire Gazette, Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, Worcester News, Hereford Times, Malvern Gazette, Ledbury Reporter, Evesham and Cotswold Journal, Tenbury Wells Advertiser, Kidderminster Shuttle, Bromsgrove Messenger, Redditch Advertiser and Droitwich Advertiser.

The headline sponsor is

Harper Adams University



to find out more and submit a nomination for the awards.