John Thorley from Worcestershire has been concerned in just about each sector of farming, nevertheless it’s his contribution to the sheep trade that might be most enduring.
He devoted almost 4 many years of his life to the Nationwide Sheep Affiliation, guaranteeing the voice of sheep farmers was heard throughout the UK, Europe and the world.
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Because the organisation’s present chief govt, Phil Stocker, says: “When the Nationwide Sheep Breeders’ Affiliation turned the Nationwide Sheep Affiliation in 1969, it was the appointment of John as secretary that set it on the street from being a small outfit with barely £100 to its title to the hard-hitting and extensively revered membership organisation it’s immediately.
“It’s from John’s legacy that the NSA continues to today to advertise the important nature of sheep farming to the financial system, the atmosphere and wider society.
“John by no means counted the hours labored or the miles travelled, however was pushed to offer profit for the trade and for members,” provides Phil.
By the point John retired from his position as chief govt of the NSA in 2006, he was admired by farmers nationwide.
Supporting the subsequent technology
One such individual is west Wales-based Margaret Dalton who has identified him for 25 years.
She says: “John’s dedication to the sheep trade and farming, his pleasant character and sense of humour, makes him a really particular individual – and one I’m proud to know.”
These days, John is chairman of the Henry Plumb Basis, which helps younger folks realise their dream of discovering careers within the farming and meals trade.
John was a detailed good friend of the late Lord Plumb, who invited him to be one of many initiative’s eight founder trustees in 2012.
In its first 10 years, it helped greater than 100 younger folks by means of the award of a small bursary, however the basis’s actual USP is offering mentors.
“His dedication to assist the subsequent technology and enthusiasm for the work of the inspiration has ensured it continues to develop to ship Lord Plumb’s imaginative and prescient,” says trustee Rosie Carne. “His big data of the trade is invaluable.”
‘Totally tireless’ campaigner
As a former chief govt of the Nationwide Cattle Breeders’ Affiliation and the British Semen Export Firm, John’s knowledge can be invaluable in his position as chairman of the Affiliation of Unbiased Meat Suppliers (Goals), the commerce affiliation representing members within the pink meat, poultry and recreation sectors.
Goals head of coverage Norman Bagley says: “The phrase ‘legend’ is an oft-misused time period, however within the case of John it’s a completely deserved one.
“Nonetheless going robust in his 80s, he nonetheless exudes the eagerness he has for the long-term wellbeing of the farming and meat industries. His infectious vitality nonetheless shines by means of.
“His private connections give him huge affect throughout a variety of the political and consultant fields. His data and dedication by no means stop to amaze. He’s a exceptional man.”
John was additionally chairman of each the Marketing campaign for Wool and the Mutton Renaissance Marketing campaign – organisations launched by the then-Prince Charles who praised his work as “completely tireless”.
Marketing campaign for Wool chairman Sir Nicholas Coleridge highlights John’s key position in quite a few initiatives involving cattle, sheep and abattoirs. “He is among the greats of our trade,” he says.
Awarded an OBE in 2006, these days John enjoys spending time together with his spouse, Hannah, and son, Henry, and pursuing his ardour for classic and thoroughbred automobiles.
What makes John our winner
- A long time of service to sheep trade
- Helps younger farmers and new entrants
- Promotes the meat trade in UK and overseas
- Lifelong dedication to backing farmers
Merlo sponsors Farmers Weekly Awards 2023 Lifetime Achievement
“John’s lengthy affiliation with the livestock sector has seen him deliver his steerage and governance to each the sheep and beef sectors over time.
“Extra latterly his chairmanship of the Henry Plumb Basis has helped help and encourage numerous younger folks into the trade.
“We’re proud to have the ability to assist in recognising these important achievements and congratulate John on a profession of constructing a optimistic distinction for our trade, specifically the livestock sector.
“John Thorley, OBE a really worthy winner of the Farmers Weekly 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Shaun Groom, common supervisor, Merlo UK