In recognition of an outstanding contribution to farming, Guild Member Digby Scott has been awarded Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The National Pig Association, which describes Digby as ‘the voice of British pig farming’, says he has worked tirelessly since the mid-1980s for the pig industry, bringing the latest information and knowledge to the entire production network.
“Many people will quite rightly comment that Digby deserves this recognition,” says NPA chairman Richard Longthorp. “But only a handful of people have had the privilege of working closely with him over many years and know just how much it is deserved – he has worked on the pig industry’s behalf tirelessly and unremittingly whilst running an extremely successful publication.”
Digby Scott publishes Pig World magazine and created the NPA’s influential website. He has also co-ordinated campaigns, developed publicity strategies and achieved positive press coverage for the pig industry, particularly at the toughest of times for farmers in the sector.
During the exotic disease outbreaks in 2000, 2001 and 2007, he worked closely with NPA and Defra officials to communicate the right messages through the association website, which received up to 30,000 visitors a day at this time, rising to 60,000 a day from around the world at the peak of Foot and Mouth.
“He also orchestrated three highly successful pig industry rallies in London to showcase British pork, which helped encourage consumer support and ultimately halted the decline in pig prices,” adds Richard Longthorp. “That undoubtedly saved many farmers from bankruptcy.”
Digby has trained many Young NPA members and producers to help them deal with media interviews and to write press releases and magazine articles. Also, the NPA credits his calm and professional manner in radio interviews for helping put across key messages about the industry, with logical and well-reasoned arguments protecting the industry by preventing stories from becoming over exaggerated in the press.
The NPA also highlights how Digby has become the focal point for farmers on the brink of despair.
“Without complaint or expecting anything in return, Digby spent many hours supporting and counselling those that were in need, something that he continues to do to this day,” says Mr Longthorp. “We remain indebted to him for that.”