30 April 2010
Nick Rebbeck, organic farmer and founder of Learning on the Farm, died on 23 April after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
After purchasing Bwlchwernen Fawr, near Lampeter in West Wales in 1975, Nick gave Patrick Holden a tenancy of the farm for 14 years before going into partnership with him in 1988, thereby enabling Patrick to take up employment with the Soil Association.
After the partnership was dissolved in 2003, Nick established Learning On the Farm and dedicated all his energy to promoting farm visits for primary school children in West Wales. He established close relationships with a number of well established organic farms, which enabled thousands of children to gain a first hand impression of food production in harmony with nature. He also produced a DVD for Organic Centre Wales and Farming and Countryside Education called Learning Along the Food Chain, which was distributed to schools around Wales.
Nick's huge contribution to the development of the organic movement was recognised at the Welsh Organic Producer Conference in 2008 when he was awarded The Welsh Organic Farming Award, and again in April 2010 when he was presented with an award for his lifelong service to the organic movement.
Nick's generosity, his warmth and his humour will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
"I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Nick, not only for our lifelong friendship, but also for enabling me to gain a foothold in farming and subsequently releasing me to start working for the Soil Association and the wider organic movement," said Patrick Holden, director of the Soil Association.