Two of Whitchurch’s most prominent agricultural businessmen have been honoured after they were recognised with a fellowship award at the House of Lords in London.

Justin Beckett, managing director of Belton Farm – who make Belton Cheese – and Tullis Matson, founder and managing director of Stallion AI Services, were both awarded a Fellowship of Royal Agricultural Societies Award (FRAgS) by the Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS) on March 6.

The award was in view of their “outstanding personal achievements and continuing record of service to agriculture” which left Tullis absolutely delighted for him and his long-time friend.

“This is a big deal,” he said.

“We were both awarded the associate award five years ago but this time we got the fellowship award.

“There were only 10 to 15 handed out.

“It’s a great honour for us both to be recognised for our hard work in our industries – mine in the equine industry and Justin for his work with cheese.”

Tullis added that he was moved to think of what their fathers – Richard Matson and John Beckett, who were great friends – would have felt on seeing their sons achieve their fellowship award together.

He added: “It’s 100 per cent right that they will be both looking down on us.

“My dad came with me to the associate event five years ago and he was so proud.

“This time, he’d be on cloud nine or whatever he’s on up there.

“We were at the House of Lords for the award and I thought he would probably know more people than I did.

“It was a monumental day.”

Justin added: “This is a great personal honour, but it is also an honour to accept this award in recognition of the great work happening in British agriculture as a whole.”

The objective of CARAS is to recognise 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.

The awards were presented by RASE president Jim Godfrey at the House of Lords on March 6.

For more about Stallion AI and the work they undertake in the horse racing industry, head to

Belton Cheese, based off the A41, can be found at national supermarkets.