Winner of this years British pig industry ChrisBrant Award is Jimmy Butler, a larger-than-life pig producer in East Anglia.
He is exactly what the award is all about, said chairman of judges Richard Longthorp, vice-chairman of NPA. Jimmy Butler is always ready to go the extra mile for the industry and has served it with good humour and distinction for many years.
With his wife Pauline and two sons Stuart andAlastair, Jimmy Butler runs a 2,000-sow pig herd, at St Margaret’s Farm, Mells, Halesworth, Suffolk, producing high-welfare free-range pork for the family’s successful Blythburgh Free Range Pork brand, which is an outstanding advert for the British pig industry.
In 1998 he was a driving force behind the BritishPig Industry Support Group in East Anglia and in 2011 he suggested pig farmers use their roadside fields to advertise British pork, an idea that was picked up by NPA and led to the industry’s successful Banners Blitz campaign which saw over a thousand banners promoting British pork appearing next to busy main roads and motorways across the country.
Jimmy has never been backward in coming forward to help the industry, whether that be serving on NPA Producer Group, working withLadies in Pigs to help educate school children about British farming, putting the industrys point of view in the media, or in 2008, memorably singing on the industry single, Stand By Your Ham.
He was active in East Anglia pig producers successful fight to prevent a straw-burning plant being built at Mendlesham inSuffolk, putting his hand in his pocket to support the campaign financially,and persuading other producers to do the same.
A former Young Farmers county president, former local rugby club president and former Conservative Association chairman, JimmyButler is a firm believer that if you get a lot out of something in life, you should put something back.
The Chris Brant Award is presented annually to someone who goes the extra mile for the British pig industry. The award is named after well-known producer and pig industry activist Chris Brant, who died in July 2009.