A young Notts farmer will take centre stage at one of London’s biggest events after proving he is a rising star in the industry.
Ben Theaker, 23, has been picked for a prestigious farming ambassador role at the Lord Mayor’s Show on Saturday, November 10 after a nationwide search by the NFU.
And now the stage is set for Ben and other young high achievers in farming to showcase the industry to thousands of spectators watching the popular parade winding its way through the capital’s streets.
“I’m really excited – I can’t wait!” Ben said.
Read more: Young farmers chosen to represent British farming at Lord Mayor's Show
“It’s something very different. I’ll be smiling and waving at the crowds and raising the profile of British farming - a subject I’m passionate about - in the heart of London.
“We need to get more people to realise where their food comes from and for them to think about the people producing it.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and I want to make the most of it.”
Ben is not from a farming background but started working at Worksop Manor Estates in Bassetlaw when he left school.
His relentless hard work at the site led to Ben’s employer persuading him to go to Brackenhurst College, part of Nottingham Trent University, and then sponsored him through the level 3 course in agriculture.
Ben’s teacher and NFU county adviser for Notts, Andy Guy, who nominated him for the show role, said: “Ben arrived at college looking for a good time but quickly realised the scale of the opportunity that he had.
“He studied hard and completed the course in 2017 achieving a triple distinction - the highest grade available - whilst holding down his job on the farm.
“Whilst at college, he was instrumental in establishing the Brackenhurst Young Farmers’ Club, which he also chaired.
“Ben is a rising star amongst the Nottinghamshire farming community and his ambitions continue to grow. He is eloquent and enthusiastic about the industry that he has come to love and would make an excellent ambassador for farming.”
Read more: Farmers make big impression at Lord Mayor's Show
The farming champions were chosen after a nationwide search by the NFU for young farmers who have made an outstanding contribution to agriculture from each of its seven English regions and Wales.
As an additional prize this year, one of them will be invited by Massey Ferguson on a special trip to Beauvais in Northern France as a guest to tour the factory and enjoy an overnight stay.
This year’s Worshipful Company of Farmers entry into the Lord Mayor’s Show will incorporate a tractor, a combine harvester and food, with the participants providing the heart and soul of the exhibit.
NFU vice president Stuart Roberts said: “It was a tough selection process as all the young farmer nominations we received were of a high calibre. The judges were impressed with the enthusiasm shown in the entries to promote all aspects of the agricultural industry.
“I know the chosen eight will do a fantastic job as they all share a passion about what they do – playing a vital role in helping to produce safe, high-quality, traceable and affordable food for the nation.”
The NFU will again be supporting The Worshipful Company of Farmers alongside Massey Ferguson, Red Tractor, the UK’s largest farm and food assurance scheme, and Surrey Docks City Farm, to help take the Back British Farming message into the heart of the City of London.