HUSBAND and wife, Betty and Michael Graham have devoted their lives to the young farmers movement and agriculture in Cumbria.

And recently the popular couple's hard work was rewarded when they received the prestigious Blamire Trust medal.

In 1862 and in memory of William Blamire a Trust was created in order to reward other individuals who have during their careers executed exemplary work on behalf of agriculture in the old county of Cumberland.

Betty and Michael Graham have been described as worthy recipients for having done so much for so many.

Michael was brought up in Wolsty nr Silloth later moving to Bothel. Whilst Betty was born at Lynedraw Farm, Ireby, and is where she and Michael both now live and farm. The 200 acre farm was up to 2008 home to a dairy herd. Now they concentrate on running their herd of suckler cows, a flock of sheep and a few pigs. Betty’s father instilled in her a deep love of the Charolais cow so following in his footsteps they also run a small herd of pedigree Charolais cattle.

"Betty is an active member of The Border Charolais Club, and is a past Chairman but now currently is Club Secretary a post she has held for a good number of years. Both she and Michael were also members of the Friesian Club and Betty their secretary for a few years," said Blamire Trust trustee, Nicki Quayle.

"However their biggest passion is the YFC, and between the two of them have clocked up over a 100 years of involvement. Both starting out as members, then moving on to be stewards, judges and serving on the Advisory Committee.

"Michael was a member of the Aspatria Young Farmers Club where he held many official positions from Press and Social Secretary, Club Chairman and then Club Leader for over 30 years. He has also been on various committees for Cumbria and the Northern District which included the formation and organisation of the Football League a sport he loves and he is an avid supporter of Carlisle United. He has always been interested in all sport, though now more as a spectator rather than a player! In 1996 he ran the London Marathon and also cycled from Aspatria to Bournemouth for the National YFC AGM on both occasions raising a huge amount of money for charity.

"Betty was a member of the Ireby Young Farmers Club and took part in all competitions and events where she especially enjoyed stockjudging and public speaking and won stockjudging competitions at both District and National finals. She was Chairman of the Field Day Committee, and Chairman and President of the Northern District. Both of them have had the honour of being President of the Cumbria County Federation, Betty in 1998 and Michael 2018."

"Over the years they have and still do encourage young people to become members of YFC and help them learn life skills watching them flourish particularly in stockjudging and public speaking," concluded Nicki.