Graeme Hector, the former managing director at Lowther Park Farms, Penrith has been presented with the Institute of Agricultural Management (IAgrM) National Farm Management Award for his contribution to the industry.
One of the earliest members to join IAgrM founded over 50 years ago, Mr Hector spent a career spanning 37 years managing the Cumbrian Estate’s 3,500 acre of in-hand farming and progressing to its managing director, before retiring to Penrith with his wife, Jean.
“During that period the industry underwent huge changes. Practical hands on management was replaced by machinery and equipment and more recently by data management tools, consequently output per labour unit employed dramatically increased,” he says.
Whilst farm management remained central to his career, Mr Hector has served on various industry bodies, including the IAgrM Council, NFU national poultry committee as regional poultry meat representative, he chaired the NFU national poultry health committee and was vice president of Royal Smithfield Club and its senior sheep steward. Training was important: he attended IAgrM’s first ever leadership programme for aspiring managers whilst he provided 12 month periods of work experience for farm management students, as well as hosting day visits for Newton Rigg College students – opportunities which he says provided ‘a great deal of satisfaction’.
Mr Hector adds: “I’m thrilled to receive this award and to be recognised by my peers for my work. IAgrM has been the organisation that has been of enormous help to me throughout my career. It has introduced me to some inspiring and knowledgeable people who have helped me to do the job better when I arrived home.”
IAgrM chairman, John Giles comments: “Graeme has made an outstanding contribution to the whole farm management for almost four decades. This award recognises his consistent commitment within the agricultural and farm management sector.”