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Farmers Club member Prof John Alliston has been awarded the 2016 Farmers Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of over 50 years devoted to agriculture, research and education, with a real passion for improving the lives of others.
Fellow Farmers Club member Nathan Dellicott of Barfoot Farms in West Sussex was awarded FW Farmer of the Year 2016, as well as winning the specialist crop producer category for what was described as “a specialist crop producing powerhouse spread over more than 2,400ha along the South Coast”.
Club member John Richards of the Richards family’s Green Waste Company in Cornwall won the Diversification Farmer of the Year category, with judges praising the family’s “adaptability, strategic thinking and business nous”.
Lifetime Achievement Award winner Prof Alliston was characteristically modest: “I was given a free ticket to attend the event, but my only thought was that attendance might be low. So I am totally amazed, and taken aback, to receive such a prestigious award.”
One of the UK’s most distinguished agricultural academics, Prof Alliston is an Emeritus Professor at the Royal Agricultural University, after 23 years at the RAU, most recently as Dean of the School of Agriculture. He is Course Director for the Institute of Agricultural Management Leadership Course, the Worshipful Company of Farmers Business Management Course and for the John Edgar Trust Management Development Scheme.
Prof Alliston is also a fellow of the Institute of Agricultural Management, a fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies and the Institution of Agricultural Engineers. As Chairman of the Henry Plumb Foundation, a charity which provides funding and mentoring for young people wishing to enter the agricultural industry, he constantly provides inspiration and enthusiasm to applicants and mentors alike.
“John is the epitome of the kindness of this industry, one in which people help each other all the time,” says former colleague Rhonda Thompson, Business Development Manager at Bishop Burton College. “And he is a passionate believer in the value of education and the sharing of knowledge.”
Andrew Ward MBE, arable farmer, Forage Aid Founder and Leadership Course attendee in 2012 continues: “John has an incredible ability to identify potential in people and to help them develop it further. Attending the course gave me the vision and inspiration to set up Forage Aid and he has played a pivotal role in the achievements of many of today's industry leaders. I cannot think of a more deserving person for this award, he is insightful, hugely knowledgeable and is incredibly generous with his time, always more interested in your success rather any of his own”
As the busy man who seems to know and be known by everyone in the industry, John’s best advice remains closer to home: ‘never be so busy that you miss out on family life, family comes first.”