BY NICK PEARCE
Cumbrian farmer Jim Webster, who writes regularly for Country Squire Magazine, has been rewarded for going the extra mile in supporting his fellow Lake District livestock farmers. Jim, a member of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), was one of three chosen to win their President’s Award 2020.
Speaking to our Editor, Jim was his usual humble self:
“It’s difficult to say much without starting to sound pompous. If I’d worked harder at school and got a proper job, I’d probably never followed this path.”
The Cumberland News picks up Jim’s story:
The South Cumbrian farmer, described as a ‘straight-talking muddy boots farmer’, sits on the Cumbria branch and Agriculture and Land Use committees, and has been an active member of the CLA since 1969. Recognising Jim’s contribution, CLA Director North Dorothy Fairburn said: “Jim has been actively involved in the CLA for nearly two decades, having been both chair of the CLA’s Cumbria branch committee, and serving on the CLA’s national Agriculture and Land Use Committee.
She added: “As a straight-talking muddy boots farmer, he always puts his points across in a colourful way, particularly on behalf of livestock farmers in the Lake District. I am delighted that Jim has been recognised via the President’s Award, especially since he continues to contribute to our Cumbria branch committee.”
Jim is rightly chuffed:
“One of the joys of working with the CLA is that the organisation has a lot of really good people who know their stuff. This means that when I traipse into a meeting with Defra, I’m a hands-on small farmer who knows the world from the mucky end. But thanks to the support I’d had from the professionals, I’m often better briefed than the people I’m dealing with. Basically, I’ve had many years of wandering about asking difficult questions and causing no end of headaches for busy people.”
CLA President Mark Bridgeman, who judged the awards for the first time, said: “Our members work extremely hard to champion, protect and enhance the rural economy, and the President’s Award is a great way of showing our appreciation to those who go the extra mile.”
The awards, which take place bi-annually, were formed in 2016 by then President Ross Murray as a way of highlighting the value and importance in which members are held the CLA.