Derek Mead honoured for services to farming

PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:05 20 November 2017

Alistair and Derek Mead.

Alistair and Derek Mead.

Archant

The late 'farmers' champion', Derek Mead, has been honoured for his services to agriculture in Somerset.

Mr Mead, who died aged 70 in a ‘tragic’ farming accident at his Hewish farm in June, posthumously received a prestigious prize at the South West Farmer Awards this month.

His services to the trade were recognised at the awards ceremony in Taunton on November 2, where his family members were presented with the Special Recognition Award.

Derek’s son, Alistair Mead, said: “My family and I cannot express enough our gratitude and appreciation to those who have honoured the memory of our late father.”

Julie Edwards, of Mole Valley Farmers, presented the award to the Mead family and went on to describe Mr Mead as ‘simply unique and a true friend who is missed but will never be forgotten’.

The latest accolade comes one month after Mr Mead was posthumously awarded the Dairy Industry Award in recognition of his passion for agriculture in Somerset.

Alistair added: “Dad loved nothing more than being surrounded by his fellow farmers at the market, putting the world to rights.

“He would have been so pleased with these awards for his hard work in the industry.”

Mr Mead was also a prominent figure in business circles and led a number of successful business ventures like the Puxton Park tourist attraction and property and housing development firm Mead Realisations.

He also delved into local politics, serving as an independent North Somerset councillor for North Worle.

But farming was what he was best known for, having been a long-standing member of the National Farmers’ Union until resigning in 2010.

A Puxton Park spokesman told the Mercury Mr Mead’s work to develop the Sedgemoor Livestock Centre after the foot and mouth crisis ‘put new heart back into the livestock trade’.

They added: “Derek was a passionate advocate of British farming and agriculture who sadly lost his life in a tragic farming accident.

“He is regarded as the farmers’ champion, and leaves a true legacy – not just for the West Country, but for the whole of British agriculture.”

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