Seventh generation farmer John Kennaugh’s contribution to Manx agriculture has been recognised.
The former president of the Manx National Farmers’ Union was presented with life membership of the union inside its Amazing Maze at the Royal Manx Agricultural Show.
Manx NFU general secretary Belinda Leach said: ‘It’s our expression of gratitude for his long-standing contribution to the Manx NFU and his wider regular contribution to Manx agriculture.
‘And it is the recognition that he has been the human voice and face of Manx agriculture.’
Mr Kennaugh, who farms at Ballaleece, St John’s, was the union’s president for 10 years from 1979 to 1989.
Before that he was the vice-president in 1978 and was a prior chairman of the union’s western branch.
During his time as president Mrs Leach said the main issue faced by the industry was agricultural marketing legislation, particularly in relation to potatoes.
‘It was quite controversial at the time,’ she said.
‘There was quite a well known Tynwald debate brought forward in 1979.
‘The acknowledgement made was “thank goodness for the common sense shown by John Kennaugh”, who worked closely at the time with John Leece.’
The honour was not just for Mr Kennaugh but his family too.
Mrs Leach said: ‘We also wanted to acknowledge the huge contribution by his family, particularly his wife Margaret.
‘And their daughter Carol was only young at the time but she was still capable of answering the phone and taking messages.’
Accepting the honour Mr Kennaugh paid tribute to his family, saying: ‘Now I wonder when I reflect and look back “what did I subject my family to when I pursued my interest as president of the MNFU?”.
‘But my wife and my eldest daughter Carol stood by me every time.’
In terms of his wider contribution to Manx agriculture Mrs Leach said that Mr Kennaugh had brought agriculture to non-farming people, through interviews, the weekly Country Side Manx Radio show he co-presents with Simon Clarke, and as a lay preacher.
She said he still played an active role - this year it was announced he was the winner of the 2013 Isle of Man Bank Farm Conservation Awards.
There are only two other life members of the Manx NFU currently, former Isle of Man Newspapers farming correspondent Harvey Briggs and former Tynwald president Noel Cringle.
Attending the presentation were Manx NFU president Brian Brumby, vice-president David Brew and previous presidents Howard Quayle (Middle MHK), Ray Craine and Graham Crowe.