Applications are open for Devon County Agricultural Association awards

The Devon County Show, which will be staged at Westpoint from May 18 to 20, isn’t just about giving around 90,000 people a great day out and generating millions of pounds for the rural economy, it also has a key role in highlighting and encouraging excellence, whether in farming, community enterprise or dedication to the land.

This is where the Devon County Agricultural Association (DCAA) awards’ schemes are so important.  There are three of them, all now open for applications:

The Devon Farm Business Awards, organised by a partnership of the Addington Fund, the DCAA and Stephens Scown Solicitors, which are given to recognise the very best farming in Devon;

The Prince of Wales Award, for community organisations, including schools, which are seeking to educate and involve young people in sustainable initiatives.

The DCAA Long Service Awards, which are made to workers in agriculture, horticulture or forestry who have completed more than 30 years’ service.

DCAA Chief Executive, Richard Maunder, said that the awards play an important part in the Association’s mission to develop and strengthen farming and the rural economy:

“We live in uncertain times, when it has never been more important to farm efficiently, use our natural resources sustainably, encourage community activity and celebrate the loyalty and dedication which is such a feature of Devon’s land-based workforce.

“Nothing is more effective in that context than highlighting those individuals, groups and businesses which are leading the way.  Every one of our winners has said what a lift the recognition of one of our awards has provided, and every one of them has also provided an inspiring example from which others can learn.

“So I strongly urge farmers, schools and community groups and land-based employers to enter for our awards, and make the most of the opportunities they offer. It will be good for them, and good for Devon.”

Last year’s Devon Farmer of the Year accolade went to Gordon Davis for the excellence of the family dairy farm at Westleigh near Tiverton and for his work on behalf of his fellow farmers.

He said: “I’m very proud of what our family business has achieved, and the recognition which the award has provided.  It was the highlight of my year, and I would encourage all farmers in Devon to enter the 2017 awards.”

For details of the six award categories and how to apply, visit the Addington Fund website www.addingtonfund.org.uk/event-type/devon-farm-business-awards

The 2017 Prince of Wales Award, organised by the DCAA on behalf of HRH the Prince of Wales, is more sharply focused on young people.

Examples of suitable projects include the communal involvement in a local asset to sustain, enhance and preserve an urban or rural community with particular regard to youth or school projects; and the benefit of a forest school in encouraging children to derive pleasure and learning from outdoor activities.

The winning entry will receive £1,000 to boost its funds, as well as a certificate signed by HRH Prince Charles, to be presented at the Devon County Show.

Previous winners have included community shop, an allotment association, a parish partnership initiative and, last year, its first urban champions, Park Life Heavitree, Exeter.

Park Life Trustee Ben Hunt said: “The prestigious award, recognising all the hard work that volunteers do, is held in high regard and the County Show has a far reach and influence beyond our usual contacts. It has proven to be an excellent way to network and make connections.”

He added: “Through this award we made a successful grant application to Coastal Recycling and are now doing some restoration work on our vintage coffee van. The van is used to support our events helps build community and bring people together.”

The DCAA Long Service Awards are effectively ‘lifetime achievement’ awards for the loyal and long-serving unsung heroes of Devon’s land-based industries.

Successful applicants will be presented with a framed certificate and an engraved tankard at the County Show. The three longest serving men and women will also receive £80, £50 and £30 respectively.

More information about the Prince of Wales Award and the Long Service Awards is available on the County Show website www.devoncountyshow.co.uk

Photo cap: Park Life's vintage coffee van

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For further information contact: Anne Ashford, PR & Marketing for the Devon County Show on 01823 490965/07971 275840 press@dcshow.org

Notes to editors:

  • Devon County Show – May 18-20 at Westpoint, Exeter
  • This is the 122nd Show – the first was held in 1872
  • The Devon County is one of the South West's most iconic and enduring annual events attracting up to 95,000 people.
  • The Show is an impressive rural show window showcasing award-winning livestock, the finest food and drink and rural living at its most vibrant
  • The County Show is the flagship event of the Devon County Agricultural Association (DCAA), which has played a leading role in the development of agriculture, education and the rural economy in Devon since its formation in 1872.
  • HRH The Countess of Wessex becomes President of the DCAA in January 2017.
  • devoncountyshow.co.uk