Newsquest Farmer

Editor of Farmer supplement, Maureen Hodges, has been a journalist for nearly 50 years and half of that working in the field of farming and rural affairs.

She writes farming news and features for all our publications, which includes two regional and five weeklies, as well as a monthly Farmer supplement, an annual Farmer Magazine and is involved in the organising of the annual Cumbria Farmer Awards, something that she is passionate about. We take pride in taking the major issues affecting the industry and looking at the human impact of what they mean for our hard-working farmers and the countryside in Cumbria. As well as being a way of life, agriculture remains one of the most important parts of the county's economy. The ups and downs of the industry have a profound impact on life in our part of the world and it's important that we reflect that. Editor Joy Yates says 'Farming and rural affairs is a challenging sector to cover – with many farmers in Cumbria facing punishing battles for survival at times - but such is the respect that Maureen has built over the years that people trust her to tell their stories.' We held our inaugural Cumbria Farmer Awards last October and thanks to a trusted contact we were able to obtain a personal video message from the King, the then Prince Charles, when we presented him with a Special Recognition Award. This was played to the farming community at the inaugural awards. This was a massive achievement as the then Prince Charles, receives thousands of these requests. It also helps the public to engage with a community whose way of life is still traditional. Although we are in the digital age, print is still king with the farming community in Cumbria. Farmer publication is 40-pages and runs monthly in our Cumberland News and Westmorland Gazette weeklies, and is expanded twice before and after Cumbria Farmer Awards to include the pre-Cumbria Farmer Awards and Post-Cumbria Farmer Awards supplements. The pre-award supplement has its own front cover and is placed on the tables on the awards night. The Farmer supplement is edited by Maureen, who has also engaged several renowned local and national names as columnists. The aim of Farmer is to give a balanced view of all farming sectors and a voice for those who want to advise farmers on the various challenges facing the sector. It is regarded as the 'bible' throughout the county's farming community.