The process of finding the winners is rigorous, and those who are nominated and shortlisted, definitely deserve this recognition. They are ambassadors of the industry, and most are well known in their area, and are obviously greatly admired and successful.
I wonder though if there should be another category, for the unsung heroes. The farmer who toils day in and day out tending livestock, growing crops, and keeping their corner of the countryside tended, and cared for. There are many farmers of all ages, who fall below the radar, often in isolation and with little or no help.
They produce perfect crops, and livestock which have been nurtured with tender care from the day they were born. They are in time presented at market or the slaughterhouse with little fanfare, and are snapped up by local farm shops and family butchers, who recognise the high quality of welfare, and importantly taste, which is so often lacking from more commercial livestock farms.
If it were not for the dogged determination of these often long established farming families, which benefit from generations of experience, and not a little bloody mindedness, required to weather and embrace every storm and difficulty they encounter, these small traditional farms, which survive largely unnoticed, could long ago have been taken over by large conglomerates or developers.
Perhaps next year the Farmers Weekly could introduce a new category. We all know some very worthy candidates.
The Woman’s Hour 70th anniversary list of influential woman has caused some controversy. It is not about who was on the list so much as who was left off. Whatever one’s politics Margaret Thatcher was rightly on the list, but what about Her Majesty the Queen, who this year became our longest reigning Monarch? Mother Theresa, and Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League of Democracy, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and many other international awards? And what about Malala Yousafzai, the young schoolgirl shot by the Taliban for campaigning for the rights of girls to go to school.
It seems extraordinary that Beyonce, ‘Bridget Jones’, and some of the others should take precedence over such admirable, genuine heroines, whose sense of duty is undisputed.
It will be interesting to see the New Year honours list. Hopefully there will be no additions to the already over bloated ranks in the House of Lords, which the departing David Cameron added to in a final gesture of defiance.
It is always heart-warming to note when individuals from within ones community are recognised appropriately for the notable contribution they make. Similar to the unsung farming heroes, there are many who quietly help others, making their neighbours lives better either privately, or as representatives on local councils, and charitable committees.
2016 has been momentous, both here and in the USA. The 24th June was indeed UK Independence Day, as Nigel Farage so eloquently said. All being well, in time we shall regain control and sovereignty of our great nation and our borders.
The opportunities and benefits ahead are boundless. However, as with anything truly worthwhile achievement, time and true grit are the tools required to succeed.
The UK’s future is global, and so are our true trading allies. We must not allow those wishing to sabotage the legal democratic electoral procedure to interfere, as a nation we must show a united front.
The history books will question if British Bulldog Nigel Farage is not included in the New Year Honours, considering his historic achievement. It will be interesting to see if Mrs May can bring herself to swallow her pride, and acknowledge his unique triumph, and his friendship with President elect Trump.
I wish you a very Happy and prosperous New Year.