The awards, named after the previous NFU President, are presented annually at the NFU Conference in Birmingham and recognise grassroots members who go ‘above and beyond’ in their contribution to the NFU and local farming industry.
Well deserved recognition
Reflecting on nearly 40 years of representing his fellow upland members in Teesdale and further afield, acting NFU regional director, Laurie Norris, said Richard thoroughly deserved recognition for his tireless work at branch, county and national level through the national Uplands Forum.
“Richard always puts his local members first,” she said. “I have known him for many years and the relationships he has built up over that time with local MPs and many other organisations are invaluable to the work of the NFU.
“He is always keen to invite people onto his farm to demonstrate the many public goods that hill farming provides and the need to sustain rural areas.”
Determination to raise farming issues
She also praised Richard’s work to raise the profile of mental health issues in farming long before they were more widely recognised and his determination to help young people in the industry, particularly in the tenanted sector.
“We were delighted to see Richard recognised for his tremendous contribution in front of 1400 of his peers as the North East regional winner,” added Mrs Norris. “We are so lucky as an organisation to have so many dedicated farmers involved. It is great to be able to say thank you and recognise that support. Many congratulations Richard.”