An enterprising young Kent farmer is being honoured at this year’s NFU Conference for his commitment to the NFU and farming in the Garden of England.
Tom Hulme has been shortlisted for the Meurig Raymond Award that takes its name from the NFU’s previous president who stepped down in 2018.
Tom Hulme runs a mixed enterprise in south east Kent with his brother Edward and Uncle Humphrey, trading as AC Hulme and Sons, producing top fruit, cereals, hops, potatoes and livestock. A forward-thinking individual, Tom Hulme is involved in the under 40s fruit growers’ group that helps growers with their professional development, exchanging knowledge on industry innovations and best practice at home and abroad. He is also known for organising the national cherry and soft fruit show that takes place annually over the three days of the Kent County Show.
The criteria for the award included farmers who work closely with the regional NFU team and branches on lobbying and campaigns, engaging with a wide range of people to champion farming interests.
NFU South East Regional Director William White said a wide selection of farmers and growers had been put forward from each county, all excellent advocates for the NFU and the wider farming industry.
Kent NFU Adviser Amanda Corp explained the regional award to Tom was well deserved for his NFU work and efforts to champion the industry.
She said: “We are all very proud of Tom Hulme in Kent as a runner up for this award. He is a true ambassador for the NFU, an example to other young farmers. He certainly shows the benefit and importance of getting involved with the NFU to ensure a successful farming future.”
Ms Corp explained that although Tom has a very young family, he never misses an opportunity to support the NFU and his industry, taking part in NFU surveys and round-table meetings, speaking to MPs, holding on farm events or participating in social media campaigns.
NFU Director General Terry Jones said “The nominees are those unsung farming heroes who provide an authentic voice as part of NFU campaigns and who lobby tirelessly for a better trading environment both politically and commercially.”
The other shortlisted farmers and growers, drawn from the NFU’s English regions and NFU Cymru, were: David Chugg (South West), John Alpe (North West), Louis Baugh (East Anglia), Mervin Mullard (West Midlands), Rachel Hallos (North East), Rob Lewis (Cymru), Sarah Tomlinson (East Midlands).