The National Sheep Association (NSA) has announced the 2016 winner of the highly regarded NSA George Hedley Memorial Award as Chris Lloyd of AHDB Beef & Lamb.

Chris has a career spanning three decades, and was nominated for the work he has delivered on behalf of the UK sheep sector.

Brought up in Essex in a non-farming family, he developed a passion for agriculture form a young age while working on a number of mixed farm enterprises and studying agriculture at Writtle College, Chelmsford.

Since then he has gone from strength to strength, and has now received the prestigious award by the NSA.

Samuel Wharry, NSA chairman, said: "Thanks to Chris' instrumental input, the industry now benefits from a world-leading knowledge exchange platform.

"Its success is largely down to Chris' ability to communicate with sheep farmers and an enthusiasm and drive which will leave a legacy for years to come.

"Chris has done a fantastic job for sheep farmers and I've no doubt he'll continue to do so."

Chris said: "Having been involved with NSA throughout my career, I appreciate the history and prestige the George Hedley award has in the sheep industry.

"It is an honour to join the list of special individuals recognised, many of whom I have had the privilege to work with while I made my own contribution to this fantastic industry.

"I enjoy using my knowledge of grass roots farming to explain technical information in a language and format to suit different audiences.

"This has to be the heart of farmer engagement and I am very proud to have been involved in the Better Returns Programme and other activities that have achieved this."

Chris will be formally presented with the NSA George Hedley Memorial Award this summer.

Nominations for the 2017 award will be accepted from this autumn.