BORDERS farmers have less than six weeks to submit entries for the prestigious Future Farmer Award 2012 and have the chance of winning the £4,000 prize.
The award looks to recognise outstanding contribution to the agricultural industry and searches for a farmer – modern or traditional, hill or lowland, large or small – who has made an impact on commercial farming whilst recognising the need for sustainability.
The Future Farmer Award is an initiative funded by the Elizabeth Murray Trust and supported by NFU Scotland.
Each year a forward thinking Scottish farmer is given £4,000 and a package of practical support to help them promote their ideas and methods to other farmers and land managers.
The Award aims to showcase ways in which Scotland can produce food, fibre and wood products from farms and crofts in a commercially viable way while maintaining the natural capital of the land and minimising the ecological footprint of farming activities.
Farmers can put themselves forward for the award or they can nominate someone else who they think deserves recognition.
Borders farmer and NFUS member Michael Williams, who runs the Award, said: “Entries are starting to come in but with spring work and lambing looming we would encourage as many entries as possible now before the farming workload takes over.
“I realise that many farmers are modest about what they do but we are really keen to ensure that we find a worthy winner and so I encourage people to enter themselves or a friend or relative.
“Scottish farming has much to be proud of and as an industry we should be ensuring that we demonstrate some of the amazing things that we achieve and the outstanding things that the farming industry contributes to our small country.
“Whoever wins the Future Farmer Award 2012 will be able to demonstrate forward thinking, passion and dedication to the farming industry in a way that also shows us how farming and the environment can work hand in hand towards the sustainability of rural Scotland.
“We hope that that person can then help us to showcase to others just how this can be done.
“I know that there are many farmers out there who have the ability to win this award and so I ask all those involved in Scottish farming to help us spread the word and encourage people to come forward.”
Anyone interested in entering the award should visit www.futurefarmer.org.uk/award for further information on how to apply.
The closing date for applications is Friday, April 29.