Pig World founding editor Sam Walton was a popular winner of the Chris Brant Award at the National Pig Awards on Monday night.
Sam, who started the magazine with publisher Digby Scott in 1987 and continues to write for it each month, received a standing ovation as he received the award from Richard Longthorp.
Before calling the self-proclaimed ‘East Yorkshire Country Peasant’ onto the stage, Mr Longthorp’s citation read: “The Chris Brant Award we are reminded every year is about going the extra mile for the industry. It is named after a straight talking, no nonsense East Yorkshire Pig Farmer
“This year’s winner is first and foremost a farmer himself and has served his fellow farmers with distinction for many years informing, enlightening, encouraging and supporting – through good times and bad.
“He has a parochial touch that could, to those less knowing, conceal his undoubted sharp and astute observational, analytical and communication skills.
“In this modern world, ‘Innovation’ and ‘Knowledge Exchange’ are amongst the key buzz words – especially when it comes to competitiveness and productivity. Some may think it was our generation who invented the concepts.
“This man has probably done more for Innovation and Knowledge Exchange during his extended lifetime with his parochial but highly effective style than most.
“Not only a key communicator he is also the UK Pig Industry’s unofficial, but highly respected, Ambassador to the United Nations of Pigkeepers. The Alan Whicker of the Pig Industry.
“He must have gone hundreds of thousands of extra miles.
“Finally, and with all due respect to John and Simon Lewis, it would not be an exaggeration to say that without his input it is doubtful whether we would be here tonight. Celebrating as we are, the very best of British Pig Farming at the now fully established and prestigious National Pig Awards.
“Because, without his good humored but determined and persistent encouragement / badgering, many would not have put their head above the parapet to be nominated. Using his years of farming experience and respect he would simply tell folk that of course they were good enough
“I also suspect that he has probably acted as pig industry mentor to John and Simon to enable them to better understand just how this industry of our works and what makes it and the people in it tick.
“An industry which, without him, would be far less informed, far less colourful and far less forward looking. There would certainly not have been a Pig World which he founded some 30 years ago.”
Sam, who still farms arable land in Yorkshire, said he was surprised to win the award, amongst all the other candidates out there, but particularly delighted and honoured as he knew Chris Brant well and respected him hugely as a pig farmer, an industry campaigner and a as a man.
Pig World editor Alistair Driver described, whose enthusiasm remains undimmed into his 80s a great ‘force for positivity in the pig sector’, while Pig World publisher Simon Lewis said he was an ‘industry hero’.