Openfield Spread the Message
R.A.B.I.’s message to encourage people to ‘Just Ask!’ if they or a farmer they know needs financial help is now being carried on lorries belonging to grain marketing business Openfield.
Launched a year ago, our ‘Just Ask!’ campaign has resulted in many more helpline calls. Now Openfield lorries are carrying the logo and 0300 303 7373 number in the hope that even more people will contact us if they are in difficulty.
Openfield’s director of marketing and origination Richard Jenner said: “R.A.B.I. has a laudable desire ‘to reach and support farming people in need’ and we felt we could do more to promote that worthwhile objective.
“As with many charities, it tends to receive publicity only in times of crisis, but the services R.A.B.I. offers make it more than just a crisis network. The pressures of running a farm business are varied and it is often assistance with some of the simpler tasks such as applying for grants or navigating state benefits that are needed most. R.A.B.I. is a specialist in delivering this type of help.”
Openfield is the UK’s leading farmer-owned grain marketing business. The agreement to support R.A.B.I. came about with the help of Openfield’s logistics partner DHL.
R.A.B.I. chief executive Paul Burrows welcomed Openfield’s support. He said: “R.A.B.I would like to thank Openfield for their tremendous initiative. Not only will our message be clearly seen by drivers on the roads, the lorries will also take it into farmyards and help to raise awareness of our work among the farming community.”
From Central London to an Oxfordshire Manor House
A brief history of R.A.B.I.'s annual meetings. Click here for the full story.
153rd Annual General Meeting
8 May 2013
The 153rd annual meeting, held at the Manor, Weston-on-the-Green on 8th May, marked the completion of Julian Sayers three-year term as chairman and the passing of the chairmanship to deputy chairman Chris Riddle. The meeting, which included an address by NFU vice-chairman Adam Quinney and a report the “Just Ask!” campaign, was attended by R.A.B.I. president HRH the Duke of Gloucester.
After listening to the various presentations in the morning session, including the experiences of a regional welfare officer and an interview with the recipient of a Gateway Project grant, the Duke told the packed marquee: “It has been a pleasure to be reminded of the need for the R.A.B.I. and the very successful way in which you provide help to those who need it.
“It is very encouraging to hear about your successes in so many different ways. It is also encouraging to see so many people gathered here together from R.A.B.I. I am delighted to be your president.”
Before presenting the annual awards, the Duke congratulated the many volunteers whose valuable contributions help those in need in the farming community. He said that the awards showed what a lot of effort had been put into raising funds.
In his opening remarks Julian Sayers spoke of how frantically busy the past 12 month had been, due mainly to the weather, bovine TB and schmallenberg disease but also as a result of the success of the “Just Ask!” campaign. He highlighted the dramatic increases in calls from working farmers and the amount paid out in grants, especially in the past three months.
Adam Quinney spoke of his experience of the disconnect between London shoppers and where their food comes from or how it is produced. As well as painting a grim picture of the situation facing farms closed due to bovine TB movement restrictions he expressed concern that farm borrowing had increased by £1 million in the past 12 months. He stressed the need to work together to secure a bright future for the next generation.
A highpoint at every annual meeting is the presentation of awards to R.A.B.I. volunteers. As well as the annual awards in recognition of achievement in the previous year, they include trustee awards for outstanding support over a number of years. The winners of the awards for 2012 were:
Dennis Brown Shield
(Awarded to the organisation, company or non-YFC club which raises the most money during the year).
The British Society of Plant Breeds for their donation of £10,000 which was raised at their International Seed Congress at the end of 2011 but given to R.A.B.I. in June 2012.
(Awarded to the R.A.B.I. committee for the most money raised by their efforts during the year).
Kent Committee for raising £52,111 in 2012.
Sam Taylor Cup
(Awarded to the person(s) who organised an “off farm” event which raised the most money and/or greater awareness for R.A.B.I.)
The Roper and Kennard families for the Forde Abbey Summer Fair. This annual event raises thousands which is split between R.A.B.I. and Marie Curie Cancer Care. The number of attendees is usually in the region of 4,500 ranging from locals to holiday makers and the local media coverage is always good. With one week to go last year it was unlikely that the event would go ahead as the gardens were water logged and the weather forecast was not looking good. The family with a team of helpers worked hard to make sure it happened.
Bryn Davies Bowl
(Awarded to the individual, organisation, company or club in Wales that has made the greatest contribution to RABI.)
Montgomeryshire R.A.B.I. committee. This is a small committee but with a very active membership who have worked hard in raising awareness outside of committee events. Their carol concert at Welshpool Livestock Centre has become a popular annual event. They made an exceptional contribution to R.A.B.I. in Wales during 2012.
(Awarded to the most progressive R.A.B.I. county committee).
Essex committee. The committee have been quietly progressing throughout the county during the past year. They organised a very successful horse ride, a golf day, and a Sunday lunch in a marquee which raised £4,500, as well as the harvest festival at Chelmsford Cathedral. As a result of the variety of events and locations awareness of R.A.B.I. in the county is reaching a far wider audience than ever before.
Hunter Farm Challenge Cup
(Awarded to the person(s) who organised an “on farm” event which raised the most money and/or greater awareness for R.A.B.I.)
Martin & Sue Cole for the Sledmere Vintage Working Day in East Yorkshire. This was the first time they had organised such an event but every detail was covered. They sought sponsorship so all costs were covered. With no admission charge it was impossible to know how many people attended but donations raised £5,000 for R.A.B.I. and the Air Ambulance. Local media coverage was fantastic and plans in place for a bigger and better event this autumn.
R.A.B.I. YFC Cup
(Awarded to the YFC Club which has given the most support).
Acle and North Walsham YFCs for tackling the Three Peaks Challenge in 24 hours and raising £5,707 for R.A.B.I. Not only did they take up this challenge, which also raised an equal amount for the Norfolk Deaf Association, but they made extensive use of Facebook and Twitter to promote it and both charities.
(Up to five additional awards will be presented per annum to those people who, in the opinion of the awards panel and trustees, should receive special recognition - long service is not sufficient).
Tony Spicker, Barclays Bank Area Manager Central
Tony has really taken up the mantle of supporting R.A.B.I. since the Dairy Show in 2011. Not only through raising our profile within the agriculture team at Barclays but with the invitations to professionals’ days and other events.
In 2012 he organised a cycle ride from the Humber Bridge to Tower Bridge raising money for R.A.B.I. and the Princes Trust. He mapped and tested the route himself and he and his team secured sponsorship for many of the stages as well as raising their own sponsorship for riding. The ride will be happening again this year from York to Oxford.
Frank Chislett, West Riding NFU Council Delegate & Farmer
A long standing supporter of R.A.B.I. Frank has found many opportunities to fundraise for the charity. From running, to having his beard shaved off and entertaining people with his Bavarian oompah band. Last year he was chosen to carry the Olympic torch so found another opportunity to raise money by getting sponsorship for each stride. Now a regular guest speaker he frequently promotes the work of R.A.B.I.
David Brummell, Kent Committee
This is the first time we have given an award posthumously and it goes to David Brummell formerly of the Kent committee. Sadly David passed away earlier this year. He joined the committee in 2004 after taking early retirement as senior group secretary of Ashford NFU and committed himself wholeheartedly to supporting R.A.B.I. The award was collected by his wife Eileen Brummell.
Elfryn Daniels, Carmarthenshire Committee
Elfryn has been an avid supporter of R.A.B.I for over 15 years on the Carmarthenshire Committee. Always at the forefront offering practical help and support, he always attends events. Elfryn is a quiet and unassuming man, who will probably hate the attention of receiving this award but it is well deserved.
Geoff Bower, Nottinghamshire Committee
Geoff Bower has been the mainstay of R.A.B.I. in Nottinghamshire for many years and has worked so hard over the years as chairman and now as county president. All meetings are held at Geoff’s house and he has instigated many successful events.
New Chairman and Trustees Elected
R.A.B.I. members have elected Christopher Riddle as their new chairman. Mr Riddle, who is secretary of the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association, takes over from Julian Sayers, who retired at R.A.B.I.’s annual general meeting on the 8 May.
Deputy chairman Bob Foster and honorary chaplain the Rt Rev John Oliver also stepped down at the same meeting. Malcolm Thomas and William Cumber are now deputy chairmen, and Rev Canon Glyn Evans is the new honorary chaplain. Christopher D’Olley, Pat Davies, and Joshua Hosier were elected to the council as trustees.
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