Jim has been named Farming Champion of the Year at the Farmers Weekly Awards 2012 in a prestigious ceremony held in London last night.
The Farmers Weekly Awards recognise and reward farmers for innovation, commitment to the industry and hard work. As well as showcasing the best farmers in the country they also named Jim as Farming Champion of 2012 following his departure from the role of Minister for Agriculture in September.
Farmers Weekly said, “A hard act to follow, Mr Paice has set a standard for other MPs, showing how a minister can work with an industry, challenge it, negotiate with it, but ultimately, move it forward to help it achieve its potential.”
Peter Kendall, president of the NFU and the sponsor of the award said, “The NFU is delighted to sponsor this award which highlights the individuals who have made significant positive impact to agriculture and farming.
This year the award goes to a man who has taken farming to the heart of government and helped achieve many key policies and agreements which will place farmers in a better place in the future.
Jim Paice is one of few MPs with practical farming experience, and one of even fewer who have achieved ministerial rank. He still is very much hands-on with farming and looks after a small herd of Highland cattle.
Jim has always shown a deep knowledge and empathy for farming and has never been easily fooled. He was a keen and leading young farmer in his day and continually championed “young farmers”.
Being a “true countryman at heart” meant he really believed in the value of farmers and farming. But Jim has never been an uncritical friend and was prepared to say unpopular things, as demonstrated at the London dairy summit in July.
However most people would agree with his own claim at that meeting that he was farming’s biggest ally in Parliament.”