FARMING stalwart Ian Powley has been awarded the Blamire Medal for services to agriculture in the old county of Cumberland.

Mr Powley, who retires after nearly 40 years with Carrs Billington at the end of March, was awarded the prestigious medal for his dedication to agricultural organisations in the county.

He was given the monogrammed coin at a special presentation last weekend.

Ian said: "It was a great honour and I was delighted to be presented with this prestigious award on Saturday night. I received this, not only for my work with Carrs Billington Agriculture but for many other agricultural organisations with which I have been involved. I have always considered it a privilege to be associated with all things agricultural in this great county of ours.

Michael Cowen, chairman of the Blamire Trust said William Blamire and Ian Powley, although from different centuries, had much in common. "Both come from a non-agricultural background but have proved to be such outstanding ambassadors for Cumberland Agriculture. Both were closely involved with Cumberland Agricultural Societies, both were involved in local Discussion Groups and both have done much work for Local Agricultural Charities, Ian with The Farm Community Network and R.A.B.I.

Although now retiring Ian is retaining his contact with farmers as Chair of Mitchells Auction and continuing his community work, also as an active Member of Scotby Church.

Ian’s parents weren’t farmers but most of his extended family were either farmers or closely allied to farming. Most of Ian’s weekends and school holidays were spent on farms of various uncles and aunts.

After leaving Trinity School Ian had two years as a student at Edward Pattinson’s Walby Hall, working with his herd of pedigree friesians, before going to the West of Scotland Agricultural college to do a National Diploma in farm management.

He joined Carrs, initially as a feed sales specialist and later into branch management, and says he 'has never looked back since'.

Ian, wife, Sue and family have lived on a smallholding near Durdar and for most of his time with Carrs they have kept a few cows and a few sheep. When his two boys came back from university they wanted to keep more and better-quality stock and this led to being offered the tenancy of Low Northsceugh Farm, near Armathwaite.