Harpenden farmer ‘surprised’ at receiving OBE in New Year’s Honours List

Harpenden's Ian Pigott has received an OBE

Harpenden's Ian Pigott has received an OBE - Credit: Archant

The Pigott family in Harpenden is renowned for its farming expertise, courtesy of generations of experience and hard work.

Ian Pigott, founder of The Farmschool, with Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, The Countess of Verula

Ian Pigott, founder of The Farmschool, with Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, The Countess of Verulam, after officially opening The Farmschool in Harpenden in September 2015 - Credit: Archant

And today (Thursday), an OBE has been announced in the New Year’s Honours List for Ian Pigott, for services to agricultural and countryside education.

A ‘surprised’ Ian told this paper that it was ‘rewarding’ to have his efforts to reconnect children with the land, and in particular the importance of food production and farming, officially recognised.

Just a few months ago Ian, a fifth-generation farmer, featured in the Herts Advertiser alongside the Lord Lieutenant of Herts, Lady Verulam, at the official opening of The Farmschool, at Annables Farm, Annables Lane in Harpenden.

The school, which has a working kitchen to enable pupils to see the entire “farm to fork” cycle, has welcomed thousands of visitors.

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Ian said: “For the generations of children currently visiting the school, and subsequent generations, their relationship with the countryside will become ever more important in terms of making sure that what we do in the UK is sustainable.”

He fears that some people have become disconnected from the countryside, and lost sight of that important link with the land. Ian is also aware that farmers like him are “custodians” of land which doubles as vital habitat for wildlife.

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He is keen to encourage future generations to realise that farming and the agri-food industry is a “viable and rewarding career option”.

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