The honourary life president and former chairman of a farmers’ association, who lived in Arundel, has died.
The Tenant Farmers’ Association said the death of Reg Haydon, on August 23, just before his 84th birthday, marked the end of an era and that the farming industry had lost a true giant who worked tirelessly in his roles within the association for the benefit of the tenanted sector of agriculture.
Reg served for 13 years as the national chairman between 1995 and 2008 completing 28 years in total in various regional and national roles. To mark his unique role and outstanding service to the association and the tenanted sector, the executive committee made him the association’s first and only honorary life president.
Chief executive George Dunn said: “Reg has been at the heart of the TFA almost since it began. It is no exaggeration to say that his passing marks the end of an era. He was always held in high regard and affection, both within the association and beyond.
“He was a doughty campaigner, a strong advocate and a tough negotiator but always ensured that the rules of gentlemanly conduct applied in all of his dealings which won him many friends in industry, other organisations and in Government.”
As national chairman Reg led the association through the collapse of the beef industry in 1996 following the BSE crisis, classical swine fever in 2000, chronic problems of bovine TB, massive volatility in cereal markets, two lots of foot and mouth disease and two major reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy.
Under Reg’s watch the association grew in its levels of recognition, expertise and influence and his legacy is to have left a strong organisation dedicated to representing the interests of the tenanted sector of agriculture in England and Wales as well as helping to establish a similar voice in Scotland. In recognition, he was awarded the OBE in 2006.
Mr Dunn added: “Reg’s passing will certainly leave a huge void and personally I have lost a great mentor and friend. Reg took a major risk in appointing me as the TFA’s chief executive nearly 20 years ago and I will always be grateful to him for that opportunity.
“The rollercoaster ride we had together had many heart stopping moments, but with Reg, it could never be boring. Our prayers are with his wife Jill and his children Ryan, Merrick and Samantha and their families.”
A memorial service will take place at St Leonard’s Church, South Stoke, Arundel, at 2pm on Monday, September 26.
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