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Stackyard News Nov 05

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Blamire Medal for John Hetherington

Peter Hetherington, left, receives the Blamire Medal awarded earlier this year to his father John from chairman of the Blamire trustees Michael Cowen.
Blamire Medal

The prestigious Blamire Medal, which earlier this year was awarded to former Harrison & Hetherington chairman the late John Hetherington has been presented to his son Peter.

Mr Hetherington, who was chairman from 1988 to 1994 during agriculture’s ‘golden’ years when up to 1,500 prime cattle a week would pass through the ring at Borderway Mart, Carlisle, was also the youngest agricultural college principal when he was appointed principal of Kirkley Hall College, Northumberland, at the age of 27 in the 1950s.

Receiving the award for services to agriculture in the old county area of Cumberland was Mr Hetherington’s son Peter, who now runs Greenquarries, Rosley, near Wigton, where John took up the new challenge of farming after 16 years as the college’s principal.

Welsh-born Mr Hetherington from Cumbrian stock, moved to Penrith where he attended Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, leaving at the age of 14 without any qualifications.

However he returned to full time education at Kings College Newcastle gaining a National Diploma in Agriculture, and later a first class honours degree in agriculture at the University of Durham.

At 25 he became vice-principal of Newton Rigg College of Agriculture and Forestry, Penrith two years later he was appointed principal of Kirkley Hall.

It was at aged 40 that he decided to practice what he preached and began farming the Church Commissioners’ holding Greenquarries, initially running it as a mixed farm and latterly concentrating on sheep.

While building up the business he still found time to be involved in many other areas of the industry – for 15 years he was a TV interviewer on topical farming issues and he was also a part-time agricultural consultant for a national company.

A familiar figure at sheep sales across the north of England, he was a director of Harrison & Hetherington for 12 years.

He worked closely with the North of England Mule Sheep Association and was a past president.

Always keen to support other farmers, Mr Hetherington represented tenant farmers on the Agricultural Land Tribunal. In 2002 he was appointed to the panel which led enquiries into the disastrous foot and mouth epidemic.

Mr Hetherington died in August this year, aged 79.

link Rural Futures Farm Assistant Scheme in Cumbria
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