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Stackyard News Nov 07

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David Bellamy Presents Top National Award to Lincolnshire Farmer

It was the meeting of two ‘Davids’ when controversial environmentalist and renowned botanist David Bellamy presented Lincolnshire farmer David Hoyles with the 2007 Barrie Orme Shield.

Left to right at the BASIS Barrie Orme Shield presentation: Professor David Bellamy, winner David Hoyles, Sally Hoyles and BASIS chairman Professor John MacLeod.

Professor David Bellamy, winner David Hoyles, Sally Hoyles and BASIS chairman Professor John MacLeod.

The prestigious Shield is presented annually to the best candidate in the BASIS certificate in crop protection exams. The award took place at a ceremony in London on 20 November. “The BASIS course was very challenging,” said David Hoyles. “Whilst my degree course at Newcastle had provided a broad understanding of the principles of crop protection and integrated crop management I had a steep learning curve on the practicalities. The BASIS certificate course and content were fantastic and brought me into contact with like minded people.” 

Making the presentation David Bellamy commented, “When I was a boy in London in the second world war I grew to like food because we didn’t have much of it. I learnt then that farmers were some of the most important people in Britain because they kept us fed.” He went on to explain how that closeness between farmers and consumers had been lost but that there are now signs of it coming back. “Seeing supermarkets supporting local produce from local farmers is one hell of a step in the right direction,” he enthused

David Hoyles (32) came back to manage the 500ha family farm G H Hoyles Ltd in Long Sutton for his father and uncle three years ago. After graduating from Newcastle University where he studied agriculture and crop protection he first joined Management Development Services in 1997. Following placements with such companies as Fyffes, Vitacress Salads and Winchester Growers David joined G’s Marketing in 1999. He went on to become the Sales Manager dealing with a multimillion pound fresh produce business with customers which included Tesco, Marks and Spencer and Waitrose.

David is married to Sally and they have a 17month old daughter, Martha. The farm currently grows potatoes, sugar beet, beetroot, daffodils, mustard and cereals. David plans to develop the family business to further improve profitability at the same time as being a responsible producer.

He is also involved in the local community and this year opened an educational Maize Maze to the public involving local school children in its design and in producing information boards and quizzes.

The BASIS training was organised by Lynne Richardson of Holbeach Marsh Training Group and David was tutored by Simon Goodger of Lincoln University with James Christian-Ilett providing refresher training.

The runners-up were all farmers too. Matthew Copley, a farm manager for Lord St Oswald in Oswaldkirk, North Yorkshire, Lewis Stalley who completed the exam whilst working for Mr O A Reynolds, Lower Ellenden Farm, Hawkhurst in Kent and Robert Wild a Farm Manager for Velcourt based at Mawthorpe Farms, Alford, Lincolnshire. The Awards are generously supported by Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC), C & J Supplies and Nufarm UK Ltd.

David was selected as the best candidate from the 240 who sat the BASIS qualification this year. The selection process is rigorous as BASIS managing director Rob Simpson explains, “The BASIS exam panels are asked to put forward those candidates whom they feel meet the high standards required for this award. Trainers’ views are also sought and short-listed candidates are then interviewed on the phone. Clearly a candidate’s performance in the exam is also important although it is not essential to achieve the best score to be judged the best overall candidate.”

link Sower of Wild Oats Wins Natural England's Top Farming Award
link FAO Forecasts Continued High Cereal Prices
link Horticulturalist is Best BASIS Candidate 2006

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