‘Wheat daddy’ is NFU farm champ

Andrew Ward receiving his award from NFU president Peter Kendall

Andrew Ward receiving his award from NFU president Peter Kendall - Credit: Archant

A Lincolnshire arable farmer, whose Twitter-inspired campaign helped livestock farmers left without winter fodder during the worst snowstorms in 50 years, was crowned National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Farming Champion of the Year at the Farmers Weekly awards.Andrew Ward, known as ‘wheat daddy’, picked up the prestigious accolade, given to an individual who shows outstanding commitment to the agricultural community, at a ceremony in London.

Mr Ward, known as ‘Wheat Daddy’ on the social media network, launched his Forage Aid appeal after deciding he “couldn’t sit back and do nothing” while he had forage in the barn and other farmers affected by the appalling March weather had none.

Thousands of sheep in upland areas died during the spell of atrocious weather which happened at the height of the lambing season.

NFU President Peter Kendall said: “Andrew thoroughly deserves this award for what was a selfless act to help hundreds of farmers in another sector.

“Through Twitter and local radio, he managed to coordinate more than 60 lorry loads of donated hay and silage, worth nearly £100,000, to stricken hill farmers in Cumbria, North Wales, Shropshire, Devon and North Yorkshire, throwing a lifeline not just to them but to their animals. He really did save businesses and families from financial ruin.

“Andrew’s generosity is something that isn’t all that common these days and is a true demonstration of farming coming together as a united industry in a time of need.”