Chris Brant Award to honour the ‘grassroots heroes
The NPA Chris Brant Award, named after producer and pig industry activist Chris Brant, will once again be presented on the night. All entries are nominated by industry peers and judged by pig producers and members of the allied industries. The award continues to grow in stature – 2019 saw a record number of entries, with the usual high quality nominations. Another very worthy winner will be unveiled at this year’s National Pig Awards.
Richard Longthorp, the award sponsor and a previous winner, himself, said the award recognised ‘the industry’s honest-to-goodness grassroots heroes’. It dates back to 1999 when it was presented to Chris, who died in July 2009, and John Cusson at the People in Pigs event, in East Yorkshire. “Chris Brant was hard-working, blunt, rambunctious, a talented pig producer and as straight as a gun barrel. And he never, ever, failed to step up to the mark when his industry needed him,” Richard said. In memory of the man, the award’s guiding principles state: “The Chris Brant Award is not about doing your paid job well, or even about doing it very well, it’s about consistently going the extra mile on behalf of the industry, without thought of personal reward.”
Chris Brant Award recognises industry veteran’s ‘energy and drive’
Colin Stone received a standing ovation as he was named the 2019 NPA Chris Brant Award winner in recognition for his ‘energy and drive’ behind a series of important industry initiatives. The Chris Brant Award recognises those who ‘go the extra mile over a sustained period for the British Pig Industry’. Announcing Wayland Farms’ breeding farms manager as the winner, award sponsor Richard Longthorp highlighted Mr Stone’s ‘sheer cussedness to not simply accept the status quo’, pointing out that he has been at the centre of ‘significant change in our industry’, having sat on various industry bodies.
He noted Mr Stone’s ‘edginess’, in common with the late farmer the award was named after and many subsequent recipients, but stressed it was ‘always with a purpose and always with the interests of the pig industry and those in it at heart’. “He has been the energy and drive behind some key industry initiatives,” Mr Longthorp said. “But his most ‘endearing’ – if I can use the word liberally – characteristic and quality is that if anything needs challenging, he will always step up, speak out and challenge. “He will never sit quietly by and let stuff pass just to maintain the peace. Whether you agree with him or not, you can’t ignore him.” He highlighted Mr Stone’s key role in important industry initiatives, such as improving biosecurity, including lorry washing, and training young people in the pig sector.
Mr Stone, who won the 2018 Special Achievement Award, said: “I was humbled, surprised and pleased to win the Chris Brant Award, but I appreciate that I was just doing my job. “It was such a surprise and it will take me days to appreciate this recognition from the industry.”
Chris Brand Award Recent Winners
2018 Rita Wells
2017 Sam Walton
2016 Richard Lister
2016 NPA team – Special Award
2015 Jimmy Butler
2014 Digby Scott
2013 Jonathan French
2012 Peter Crichton
2011 Nick White
2011 Digby and Ann Scott – Special Award
2010 Nigel Penlington
2009 Hugh Crabtree