THERE’S just days to go to be part of the Cumbria Farmer Awards 2022 journey.

The 2022 Cumbria Farmer Awards will bring together some of the county’s most outstanding farmers and food producers, along with leading figures in the industry.

Nominations for the second Cumbria Farmer Awards, which will showcase the diversity and adaptability of the county’s farming community, close on Monday, March 28.

Hosted once again by John Wharton, farmer and livestock manager and auctioneer at Mitchell’s Auction Mart in Cockermouth, the 2022 awards are launched by Newsquest Cumbria in partnership for the second year with Carlisle-based accountants and business advisors, Armstrong Watson.

Winners will be celebrated in a glittering awards ceremony on Friday, August 5 at the Greenhill Hotel, near Wigton, when entertainment will be provided by the popular Soul Survivors Band.

Last year over 227 farmers and industry specialists helped celebrate a massively successful inaugural Cumbria Farmer Awards night, an incredible testament to the determination and resilience of the industry, and a celebration of everyone coming together after a tough 18 months.

Alongside farming’s core sectors – dairy, beef, sheep and machinery, there is also recognition in other valued groups such as students, young farmers’ clubs, new entrants, food, local agricultural businesses, and the huge number of diversifications, which are now so crucial to many businesses. New to the event this year is the introduction of two awards, Farming Family Business of the Year and Women in Agriculture.

Cumbria Farmer Awards 2022 have also chosen Farming Community Network (FCN) as its nominated charity.

The Awards will be judged by a panel of respected industry experts and specialists from a wide spectrum of backgrounds, headed by Andrew Robinson, partner and head of agriculture and farming at Armstrong Watson, who said:“Farmers have faced a number of tough years and 2022 looks to bring with it another set of challenges for the industry.

“The Cumbria Farmer Awards gave a huge boost to the farming community and we were very proud and humbled to have been involved as the headline sponsor for the awards in their first year. We’re looking forward to celebrating the amazing work of unsung farming heroes again next year.

“In 2022, we will continue to support our agricultural clients in overcoming the hurdles they’re faced with, providing advice and support to help their businesses thrive.”

Our other judges for 2022 are: David Hall, NFU North West Regional Director; Alistair Mackintosh, west Cumbrian beef and sheep farmer and chairman of Red Tractor Assurance, as well as the National Farmers’ Union Cumbrian council delegate; Ian Bowness, Aspatria dairy farmer and NFU county chairman; Julia Aglionby, Armathwaite farmer and Executive Director of the Foundation for Common Land; Lois Mansfield, Professor of Upland Landscapes, and Director of Ambleside Campus; Robert Craig, Nuffield Scholar and Armathwaite dairy farmer; Pedigree livestock expert Heather Pritchard; Adam Day, Managing Director of The Farmer Network, based in Penrith; Michael Peile, agricultural partner at David Allen Accountants in Dalston; David Black, Managing Director of Paragon Veterinary Group; Craig Brough, Hopes Land Agency Manager, Wigton; and Cumbrian farmer and entrepreneur, Chris Dickinson, and Commercial Livestock Sales Manager (as well as Auctioneer) within the Harrison & Hetherington senior Operations Team.

Sponsors who have pledged their support for the awards are: Lifetime Achievement Award –Armstrong Watson; Farming Champion – National Farmers Union; Farming Family Business of the Year – Paragon Veterinary Group; Dairy Farmer of the Year and Contractor of the Year – Carrs Billington; Young Farmers’ Club of the Year – David Allen Agriculture; Livestock Farmer of the Year – H&H Group Ltd; Tenant Farmer of the Year – The National Trust; Land and Environmental Award – University of Cumbria; Against All Odds – Lely Center, Longtown; Women In Agriculture –Warrendale Wagyu; Diversification of the Year - Lloyd Ltd; Supplier of the Year - Davidson & Robertson; Sustainable Farming Award under the Judges Special Award - Red Tractor; Agricultural Student/Rural Skills Award - The Ernest Cook Trust; Nestle - Farmer's Choice Award.

Last year, more than 227 farmers and industry specialists helped celebrate a massively successful inaugural Cumbria Farmer Awards night, an incredible testament to the determination and resilience of the industry, and a celebration of everyone coming together after a tough 18 months.

“As the entries poured in last year it became obvious there was much to be positive about in Cumbria as we face the future,” said farming and rural affairs editor, Maureen Hodges. “We were overwhelmed by the standard of entries and the effort that had gone into them during what was a very difficult 18 months for everyone living through a Covid pandemic.”

One of our cherished native breeds, the Herdwick sheep, came close to being wiped out during the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001.

So when Newsquest Cumbria began to think of trophies for our inaugural Cumbria Farmer Awards last year, the Herdwick was the obvious symbol to represent the county.

Lynn Bates, a Cumbrian artist and illustrator came up with the idea of a Herdwick ram’s head etched in glass to illustrate how important the Herdwick is in shaping the Lake District landscape.

We will be following a similar pattern for our trophies again this year.

David Beeby, High Sheriff of Cumbria, said last year he was ‘absolutely delighted’ that Newsquest had established these annual awards to recognise the contribution of farming and farmers and also the many organisations that support the agricultural industry.

The farming community, said the High Sheriff, was important to so many aspects of our life – ranging from the backbone of our food supply and our rural communities to being guardians of our wonderful countryside.

‘Who knows what the future will hold for our farming industry? What we do know is we will need determined, hard-working, committed entrepreneurial farmers who will, as always, respond to the challenges, nurture their land and their livestock, adapt their businesses and provide for the needs of the future.’

nFor the Nomination Form turn to Page 35 or Nominations can either be made using the form opposite or at