There are two categories – initially Associateship (ARAgS) and the senior award is Fellowship (FRAgS).
Candidates do not apply themselves until invited to do so. Potential candidates for Associateship are suggested by existing Fellows for consideration to National Panels in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales (depending upon the country of residence of the candidate).
If deemed to have made truly outstanding contributions to UK agricultural progress (beyond simply doing their jobs well), candidates are invited by their National Panel via the Chairman to make a submission of their work and community activities in support of their application.
Candidates pay a fee for administration and supply the names of two existing Fellows (FRAgS) who have agreed to act as sponsors for them.
Recognising Achievement in Agriculture
The above Council was established in 1983, following on from that begun in 1970 as a Council of Fellows of Royal Agricultural Societies. It acts on behalf of the UK’s four national Royal Agricultural Societies – The Royal Agricultural Society of England, The Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland, The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society, and The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society.
The objective is to recognise, through an Awards scheme, distinguished achievement in agriculture and related land-based industries.
The Awards embrace not only practical farming and the development of new husbandry practices, but also research, technology, economics, education, farming care, communication and administration.
A Fellowship (FRAgS) or Associateship (ARAgS) is a recognition of outstanding contribution by an individual to the understanding, efficiency and well-being of agriculture.
To date, over 1,200 individuals have been so recognised and there are currently over 800 Fellows and over 350 Associates.
The Council is aware that there will be many other candidates worthy of consideration by meeting the high standards required for an award. It seeks to encourage existing Fellows to nominate such people to the National Panel of the candidate’s nation of UK residence.
Associateship (ARAgS) is a recognition of meritorious contribution to the agricultural and land-based industries of the UK and is awarded to those who can demonstrate the required high level of achievement.
Fellowship (FRAgS) is the senior Award of the Council. Associates may be considered for advancement to Fellowship if they can demonstrate a continuing significant contribution to agricultural and rural progress in the UK, although advancement is not automatic. Occasionally, the Council may award a Fellowship directly for exceptional achievement.
Holders of the Awards of ARAgS and FRAgS cover a wide spectrum. The Awards reward personal achievement in a professional capacity and recipients are frequently individuals of influence within Agriculture. They range from practical farmers to academics, company directors, media practitioners, administrators, advisors and consultants.
Administration: The scheme is administered by the Council for Awards, which consists of representatives of the participating Royal Agricultural Societies, members elected by the Fellows, ex-officio and co-opted members. The Council is supported by a National Panel in each of the four nations of the UK. Candidates for awards are initially invited by National Panels before recommendation to the Council..
NB Candidates do NOT apply directly until invited to do so by the National Panel Secretary of the UK nation in which they live.
Candidates when invited by the National Panel of the UK nation where they live should submit the application form together with an outline of their contributions to agricultural and rural progress. The form and entry fee should be forwarded to the Hon Secretary at the address below.
Candidates must be sponsored by two Fellows (holders of FRAgS).
Applications will be subject to the approval of the National Panel prior to submission to the Council.
Two Assessors appointed by the Council will interview the candidate to discuss the farming system, practice, project or personal contribution upon which the submission is based.
The Assessors will then prepare a Report on the interview for the Council.
On consideration of the Assessors’ Report by the Moderator’s Panel of the Council, a positive outcome will result in the award of Associateship (ARAgS).
Certificates are presented at an appropriate event of the participating Royal Agricultural Society concerned.
Recognising Achievement in Agriculture
Members are identified with others who have demonstrated excellence and achievement thus comprising a distinctive group with much to contribute to the future development of UK agriculture, its associated industries and to wider rural progress for public benefit.
National Panels arrange meetings and visits to discuss and exchange ideas. Social events provide an opportunity to meet with other Fellows and Associates. Newsletters and Reports on conferences and seminars are circulated regularly.
Members of one of the sponsoring Royal Agricultural Societies can enjoy the privileges of membership of the other participating Societies – on application to it and at its discretion.
A Fellowship or Associateship of Royal Agricultural Societies is a prestigious honour – a recognition of outstanding contribution to the understanding, efficiency and well-being of UK agriculture.