Photo: BEF

On 20 October, three ambassadors of the “Good Farmer” championship – farms working in harmony with nature – were awarded, as well as the municipalities that have contributed the most to the promotion of agri-environmental protection were honoured.

For the third year in a row, the Naturalit project team is organising the traditional “Good Farmer” championship, which showcases responsible farmers who work in harmony with nature. This year, under the patronage of Beata Nicholson, the public nominated 30 farms for the championship. After an initial selection process, the jury visited 13 farms, evaluated their practices, their benefits for nature and the local community, and selected three of this year’s nominees: the Bačkonys organic farm, the biodynamic Martinėļiai farm and the Marozai dairy farm.

Žymantas Morkvėnas, one of the organisers of the championship, an expert in nature conservation and head of the Baltic Environment Forum, says that the championship aims to discover and promote good farming practices: “We are always looking for leaders who care about the common good – a healthy, sustainable and thriving nature. We want to prove that nature-friendly farming is progressive and relevant”.

Photo: BEF

The Bačkonys’ organic farm won the public’s affection

The Bačkonys organic farm, run by Rasa and Andrius Prusakovai, won the special title of “People’s Choice” at the awards event. This farm received the most support from the public in a public vote that lasted more than a week. The 40 hectares of certified organic land produces a wide range of vegetables, chickens, turkeys and Highland cows. Bold, innovative and very sincere, the farmers say their aim is to create a basket of healthy food for sale, dominated primarily by what they would be happy to eat themselves.

Agri-environmental municipalities – helping nature and farmers

At the event, the municipalities that have done the most to promote agri-environmental measures to farmers this year received special awards and certificates of appreciation in the “Good Farmer” Championship. “With the Elderly Award, we want to highlight that sustainable farming requires not only the individual contribution of each farmer, but also a wider contribution – for example, from the specialists of the Elderly. They can contribute to a breakthrough in the protection of nature in their region by having a close relationship with the farmers, showing the meaning and importance of this in the future,” said Morkvėnas.

The award ceremony honoured the “Agri-environmental Champion” – the municipality with the largest area of agricultural land declared for eco-system measures this year. The winner was Šiauliai district municipality. Meškuičiai eldership. A special commendation was also awarded to Eržvilkas municipality of Jurbarkas district municipality for the highest number of applications for eco-system measures in 2023. Special commendations signed by the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania were also presented to the specialists working on agricultural issues in these municipalities.

Photo: BEF

Photo: BEF

Photo: BEF

“The Good Farmer Championship is organised within the framework of the “Naturalit” project, funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Union and the Republic of Lithuania. The project aims to promote nature-friendly farming practices.