FOR the fourth consecutive year the NFU staged a prize draw in aid of farming charity R.A.B.I at their annual Conference dinner at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham.

This year’s draw generated close to £10,000; money which will go towards supporting farming people of all ages in hardship.

The two-day National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Conference sets the tone for the farming year and is one of the agricultural sector’s biggest events. The prize draw at the conference dinner encouraged some 1,250 guests to enter, with the draw generating the remarkable sum of £9,945.77.

R.A.B.I chairman, Malcolm Thomas, said: “The NFU is a committed and longstanding supporter of our work and we are indebted to the efforts of so many of their staff, members and volunteers. This draw raises a huge amount, however represents just one of many fundraisers the NFU carries out on our behalf throughout the year, up and down the country.”

The 159-year-old Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I) is farming’s oldest and largest welfare charity. In 2018, the NFU was awarded the Dennis Brown Shield in recognition of its support of R.A.B.I and Guy Smith, NFU deputy president, collected the shield from Lord Plumb in front of more than 220 guests at R.A.B.I’s annual AGM / awards ceremony in Oxfordshire.

Mr Thomas added: “We present this shield to the organisation that makes the greatest contribution to what we do, either in terms of raising money or awareness of our work. The NFU actually does both, incredibly well. They keep us at the forefront of their members’ minds and many of these members also give countless hours of their time to form a large percentage of our own supporter network. It’s an important and close relationship.

“R.A.B.I, at its heart, is about people in the farming community helping each other, and the NFU’s support is a great example of that.”