Agriculture Minister awards local farmers
On Thursday 17 November, Suffolk FWAG (Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group) held its prestigious Kerr Cup Conservation Championship Awards presentation evening, with guest speaker, the Rt Hon Jim Paice MP, Minister for Agriculture.Sponsored by Ashtons Legal, the Kerr Cup Championship – which has been running for over 30 years – celebrates farms which combine conservation and environmental stewardship with running commercial businesses.This year’s competition was a ‘Champion of Champions’ award, celebrating the best of the last 30 years of Suffolk FWAG Kerr Cup winners. Six Suffolk farms were shortlisted for the award and each received detailed site inspections in June this year.The award was announced by one of the judges, Richard MacMullen (Head of Norfolk FWAG) and presented by the Agriculture Minister. We’re delighted to announce that the winners were John and Susan Holmes of White House Farm, Frostenden, with runner up Kenneth Carlisle of Wyken Hall Farm.Speaking at the event, attended by over 120 FWAG members and guests, Mr Paice said: “I am delighted to be here this evening to be able to celebrate everything that is good about the countryside and farming. Awards such as this demonstrate that you can farm commercially whilst looking after our wildlife and that there is no contradiction in doing both.”Mr Paice, who is originally from Suffolk, has been involved with Suffolk FWAG since its inception. He spoke about the challenges facing governments in being able to feed an ever increasing population without exhausting our resources and how we can do this in harmony with our environment.He commended the work of Suffolk FWAG in supporting farmers who voluntarily wish to improve the biodiversity of our wildlife and birdlife, stating: “I’m very proud to be here tonight to be celebrating what is best in Suffolk.”It was also an evening of announcements, as Glenn Buckingham, Chairman of Suffolk FWAG, informed those present that nationally FWAG had officially gone into administration that day. However, he announced that Suffolk FWAG would be continuing its work under the umbrella of the Framlingham based Atlas Fram Group.Commenting on the evening, Jeanette Dennis, Partner at Ashtons Legal said: “Ashtons Legal works closely with many of East Anglia’s agricultural businesses, both large and small and has done for many years. We have worked with FWAG since 1992 because it is important for us as a firm to support work which helps to reduce our environmental impact. I believe that this evening heralds a new and exciting time for Suffolk FWAG and we are pleased to be continuing our support for them as part of our newly merged firm.John and Susan’s farm partnership is a great example of clear succession planning being applied over the years for environmental success. The work that the family has done on this farm deserves to be congratulated. When visiting the farm on judging day, it was a privilege to see the huge range of environmental measures coupled with the farming and the history of the family’s involvement. John’s attention to detail is fantastic, which goes hand in hand with input from Suffolk FWAG. It’s an inspiration to all farmers and landowners.”The Tim Sloane Memorial Award was also presented at the event, which went to John Sanderson.
For further information about this press release, please contact Mary Porch or Jeanette Dennis.
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