Finding Wiltshire’s rural community champions

By Anita Jaynes on March 03, 2015

Agrii is asking the Wiltshire farming community and the general public to nominate their local community heroes as part of the nationwide campaign to identify the UK’s Rural Community Champions.

The campaign will celebrate the people who make a real difference to the rural communities in which they live and work, but may often see their efforts go unnoticed and unrecognised.

Agrii agronomist, Todd Jex, and his customer John Whatley, are examples of people making a difference in their local farming community. In October 2014, Todd and John led a group of 35 growers on a field trip around John’s farm in Wiltshire. Their purpose was to explore the wildflower field margin options on the farm and learn how different plantings can encourage a diverse range of wildlife as part of an integrated pest management approach.

Todd commented: “We wanted to raise awareness of what our industry can do to encourage beneficial wildlife on farm. Parsonage Farm is an excellent example of this.”

Anyone who brings a benefit or improvement to the rural community in Wiltshire is a potential Rural Community Champion and is eligible for nomination. They may be fundraisers, care for elderly neighbours, help restore or maintain community buildings, organise farm visits for school children or organise and support community events and projects.

Mark Thomas, Agrii’s Head of Marketing said: “As a business that works in the countryside and serves the farming industry, we know that there is so much good work going on behind closed doors on top of the ‘day job’. We want to champion and celebrate this with a new campaign and competition.”

The competition will identify 20 local winners from all the nominations received across the UK. They will each win £50 for themselves or to put towards their local project. From these winners a panel of judges will shortlist three finalists, one from each Agrii region – North, East and West – with Wiltshire being a part of the West region. The overall national winner will be chosen from the three finalists by Agrii customers and will win £1,000. The two runners up will each win £500.

The Rural Community Champion campaign being run in conjunction with FCN – a charity supported by Agrii that provides advice and support for farming families in times of crisis.

For more information about the project and to keep up with the latest project news, visit www.agrii.co.uk/communitychampions, or find us on Facebook. Alternatively please contact immy.okeeffe@agrii.co.uk or sarah.wilkinson@agrii.co.uk