National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

09 December 2010

Tributes have been paid to a Staffordshire farming stalwart, who has died aged 81 following a lifetime of dedicated work to agriculture, YFC and rural life.

Ken Unwin, MBE, died on 6 December following an illness and tributes have been paid to the man who was regarded as “the father figure” of Staffordshire farmers.

The livestock farmer, of Whiston, Stoke-on-Trent, is survived by his wife Lilly, son Kenneth and family, and was respected by those in agriculture across the country.

His son Kenneth said: “Dad was a friend to young and old alike, he was a true countryman who knew what hard work was and lived for his family, farm and livestock.

“He loved the fact that his main business was also his hobby and always said there was nothing better than breeding and rearing quality beef stock.

“He was passionate about bringing on the next generation of farmers and his other great love in life was tug of war.

“He trained numerous teams during his lifetime, winning national competitions up and down the country.”
Mr Unwin was a long-serving Kingsley parish councillor, representing Whiston since 1964, and was honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list last summer with an MBE for services to rural communities in Staffordshire.

A grandfather, he held all senior positions within Staffordshire NFU after joining the Blythe Bridge and Cheadle branch more than 40 years ago and was also a pivotal figure working with the Staffordshire Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs.

He was heavily involved with Cheadle YFC, and went on to be president and honourary life president of Staffordshire YFC.
David Beswick, Staffordshire YFC honorary life president, said: “Our Ken, or Uncle Ken, as he was affectionately known by YFC members from across the county will be sadly missed.

“He trained countless stock judging, tug of war and public speaking teams during his lifetime association with Staffordshire YFC.

“We were all so proud when the Queen recognised him with the MBE last summer.”

Mr Unwin lived at Whiston for more than 50 years and was heavily involved with the village church, St Mildred’s, where he was a church warden and was highly regarded by the community.

Waterhouses livestock farmer Clive Langford-Mycock, a former Staffordshire NFU chairman, said there was not another member of the agricultural industry who had worked harder representing the interests of farmers and the rural community.

He said: “Ken was without doubt the father figure of farmers in Staffordshire and had the respect of farmers from all walks of life.

“We will miss him greatly and this is a huge loss to the county and all those who knew him.”

David Collier, West Midlands NFU regional director, said it had been a privilege to know Ken and added he had made a substantial contribution and been a real influence to those he met.

He said: “He was dedicated, hard working and passionate about rural life and the farming scene and anyone that knew Ken will be deeply saddened by this news.

“Our thoughts are with Lilly and the rest of his family at this difficult time.”


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