The Prince of Wales has been named Farmers Weekly’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner for 2020 due to his decades-long commitment to agriculture, practical support and ability to bring attention to farming issues, as well as the way he’s always championed innovation in farming.
“He cares with a fierce and tireless passion about our smaller family farmers – the small- and medium-sized businesses on whose backs rural Britain depends. And he turns this concern into real, practical help,” the organisation announced on its website over the weekend.
Prince Charles wrote an article for Farmers Weekly to commemorate his win, writing that, “I have been doing what little I can to support farming communities and promote the importance of sustainable landscapes throughout a 50-year period that has seen enormous changes for everyone involved with producing the food on which we all rely.”
In a statement on the Farmers Weekly website, Lord Curry of Kirkharle, chairman of the Prince’s Countryside Fund, which Prince Charles launched in 2010, says, “HRH cares deeply about a range of issues, but there’s none he’s more passionate about than family farms.
“He launched the fund because he was keen to do something practical and the PCF has since sponsored hundreds and hundreds of initiatives.
“He’s particularly keen that family farms survive and prosper because he knows they’re part and parcel of the fabric of our rural areas. They are the bedrock of the countryside – they’re why the landscape is the way it is and at the heart of our communities.
“He understands how interdependent all the different aspects of the countryside are and sees it holistically.”
Prince Charles added in his article, “I have been constantly amazed and heartened by the resilience, adaptability and ingenuity of the family farms that still form the backbone (and quite a few other bones, too) of our rural communities.
“Yet it is all too clear that even bigger changes are needed as we transition rapidly – as we must if we are to survive – to a world in which sustainability becomes a central organising principle.”
Prince Charles launched the Prince’s Countryside Fund in 2010 to foster a “confident, robust and sustainable agricultural and rural community which is universally appreciated for its vital contribution to our British way of life and fit to support future generations,” per the Fund’s website.
“Very few people know just how much His Royal Highness does for our farming families and our countryside – and the difference he has made. It’s simply wonderful to see him recognised with this award,” said Elizabeth Buchanan, a farmer who also used to be the Prince’s Private Secretary.
“He cares with a fierce and tireless passion about our smaller family farmers – the small- and medium-sized businesses on whose backs rural Britain depends. And he turns this concern into real, practical help – The Prince’s Countryside Fund being the greatest expression of this.”
She added, “There are so many individuals whose lives he has touched for the better. When disaster has struck – during the horror of foot-and-mouth or the aftermath of floods – his innate kindness shines through and he has always been there to help.
“He is farming’s greatest ambassador – and he is extraordinarily prescient about what needs to be done to secure the future.”
Prince Charles finished his article by writing of the need to take an innovative approach moving forward. “I have no doubt in British farmers’ ability to adapt and thrive in changed circumstances, as long as they are provided with the right advice and in the most timely fashion.”
The Prince of Wales’s full article can be read here.