NSA stalwart receives the George Hedley Memorial Award

NSA stalwart receives the George Hedley Memorial Award

NSA vice president and  Northern Region Trustee John Geldard FRAgS has been named as the 2020 recipient of the NSA George Hedley Memorial Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the sheep industry.

John Geldard, pictured right, with NSA chief executive Phil Stocker.

John, who farms near Kendal in Cumbria began his career in the industry more than 45 years ago.

John’s family-owned business now employs 25 staff and features a beef, sheep and a layer enterprise, together with Plumgarths Farm Shop Ltd, now managed by daughter Victoria.

An avid networker, both at national and regional level, John has chaired more than 20 industry groups and organisations. He has served as NSA Northern Region chairman, NSA National chairman for two separate terms and now is an NSA vice president. John is also currently a director of Farmers Fresh and a director of North West Auctions.

On receiving the award, John said: “Throughout my time working in the sheep sector and with the NSA I have always held the George Hedley award in the highest regard for the very high calibre individuals that have been recognised by this in the past, and therefore I am extremely honoured to be named as the latest recipient. It must be recognised that NSA punches far above its weight in terms of its efforts to represent the sheep industry and the activities and campaigns it is part of in doing this on a UK wide scale. I do not consider any other organisation represents one sector of the agricultural industry so effectively.

“It is important to note that future funding arrangements are going to be difficult for the industry to continue to supply the highest quality food for the public to enjoy. NSA has always been prepared to accept the changes our industry has encountered and move forward with these but at this time  we now have a responsibility to put forward our own ideas for change to the government to ensure farmers are supported for the future and that public money is spent wisely on public goods such as sustainable food production.”

NSA chief executive Phil Stocker commented: “There are few people that can have given so much time and shown such dedication to the NSA and the UK sheep industry as a whole as John Geldard has. He has been tireless in his efforts to serve the NSA and further our standing in the world of agriculture. His impact will be felt at local, regional and national level, having had a great influence on both commercial and pedigree sheep sectors. He is, without doubt, a most deserving recipient.”

  • The NSA has presented the George Hedley Memorial Award annually since 1960. It is given to honour the memory of George Hedley, a highly respected farmer from the Scottish borders who was involved with the NSA (then the National Sheep Breeders Association) for many years. It was while he was NSBA chairman, travelling to a Council meeting in London on 26th January 1960, that he was tragically killed in a car accident.

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