A new challenge for 2020

I have some exciting news! From June 2020 I will be taking on the role of English panel secretary for the Council for Awards for the Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS).

My role will be to help administer the awards application process, supported by a team of well-connected industry representatives who form the English panel. The panel meet twice a year to discuss and review applications as well as attending industry visits and the prestigious awards ceremony, held annually in the House of Lords.

Each year, associates and fellows of the organisation, nominate deserving individuals who have gone over and above the call of duty to further or better the food and farming industry. The scheme is the farming equivalent of an MBE for successful applicants, with some 530 people having already been awarded the accolade.

I was very fortunate to have been put forward for the role by Christine Tacon, the UK’s Groceries Code Adjudicator, who recognised my involvement and experience within the farming industry to date. CARAS needed somebody with strong interpersonal skills, be well connected, have an understanding of the farming and charity sector and be able to work in isolation, whilst supporting a board of panel members.

After attending an interview at the Farmers Club in London, the chairman, Duncan Worth, contacted me to announce my appointment. I will take over from Malcolm Stansfield who has been holding the position for over 18 years. During his tenure, Malcolm recalls numerous memorable visits to farms, estates and businesses including the historic Holkham Estate in Norfolk where he saw the valuable work they undergo in order to prevent run off into the streams at Salle Farms.

Whilst I officially take over the role in June at the AGM, Malcolm and I are already working hard with handover plans in order to make things as smooth as possible. How he is going to offload all his knowledge from the past 18 years I do not know. It’s an honour to be working with him and I am thoroughly looking forward to helping the organisation moving forward.

I hope to be able to help promote the awards application process amongst my peers, to encourage the next generation of fellows and associates, as well as supporting the fantastic work that Malcolm has already achieved.

I look forward to meeting all the deserving and inspiring successful award applicants each year too. I am very fortunate to be in this position and I hope I can make a difference.

For more information on the awards, visit: http://royalagriculturalsocietiesawards.org/about-caras/

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