Accolade for Olive

CLA Cumbria stalwart Olive Clarke OBE has received a unique award in recognition of three quarters of a century of service to young farmers.

Olive has become the first person to be made an honorary life vice-president of the Cumbria Federation of Young Farmers, after 75 years of being part of the organisation. She joined the Hutton branch of the federation in 1938 and won its first public speaking contest that year.

Since then she has been a tutor and adjudicator of public speaking competitions in a bid to empower the industry.

Olive said: “Farming has changed a lot in that it was a fairly inarticulate industry at one point and I wanted it to become articulate. It’s a big business now but it wasn’t then and I wanted to help improve that.

“I’m glad to say it has improved and the people with the voices can now lobby government and make changes to their own industry for the better.”

A former county councillor, Olive is the county Federation of Young Farmers’ longest-serving member and took the role of Westmorland chairman in 1959 and Cumbria president in 1980. Currently she is the Deputy Lieutenant of Cumbria, a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society of Great Britain, the president of the Witherslack Horse Show and patron of Cumbria in Bloom.