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Association of Shows and Agricultural Organisations’ Chairman receives top agricultural award

The Chairman of the UK’s Association of Shows and Agricultural Organisations (ASAO), has received a prestigious Fellowship Award from the Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS).

Christine Knipe, who is also the Chief Executive of the Westmorland County Agricultural Society (WCAS), attended an awards ceremony hosted by Baroness Hazel Byford, at the House of Lords earlier this month.

She was presented with her Fellowship Certificate by Mr. Jim Godfrey OBE, President of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, and is one of only 36 people in England to receive the accolade this year.

The Fellowship is the most senior award of the Council and is given in recognition of outstanding contribution by an individual to the understanding, efficiency and well-being of agriculture. It embraces not only practical farming and the development of new husbandry practices, but also research, technology, economics, education, farming care, communication and administration.

CARAS also acknowledged that education is a key objective for WCAS with numerous events held on the Showground at Crooklands for local primary school children. With Christine at the helm, a ‘Farm to Fork Road Show’ which visits urban communities in North West England, has been thoughtfully and successfully developed, and the team recently visited a school in the centre of Manchester to help the pupils understand where their food comes from.

The Fellowship Award comes to Christine five years after she was made an Associate Fellow by the Royal Agricultural Societies.
She said: “I am delighted to receive the Fellowship Award, and hope that it might go some way to help further raise the profile of the work we do at Westmorland and, more generally, with the ASAO. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies for bestowing such an honour, and of course my team at Westmorland and my colleagues at the ASAO, who all work tirelessly for the cause.”

Christine has been the Chairman of the National Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations for the past two years. The ASAO has more than 200 members and under Christine’s leadership promotes the activities of Britain’s agricultural, horticultural and countryside shows throughout the year, working closely with education providers and industry bodies to raise the profile of education in agriculture.
She is also the Secretary of the North West Federation of Shows. As a farmer’s wife she is very much part of the farming community in North West England and the reputation of Westmorland Agricultural Society and the County Show continues to grow and strengthen.

To date, just 1,200 individuals have been recognised by CARAS and there are currently over 800 Fellows and over 350 Associates.
For more information, interviews and photographs please contact:
Sharon Gilbert – glasshouse communications (for the ASAO)
Office Direct: 01684 311463 | Mobile: 07563 663543 E-mail: sharon@glasshousecommunications.co.uk
Helen Coffey via email manager@westmorland.org.uk or by calling 015395 67804.
Notes to Editor:

1. Picture shows Christine Knipe being presented with her Fellowship Certificate by Jim Godfrey OBE.