Don’t make life hard for yourself – keep work simple and do it well. This is the simple mantra Hugh Sapsed lives and works by.

He has employed this mentality into shaving valuable minutes and hours from the working day by making smart adjustments to the way the farm’s team operates.

See also: 2017 FW Awards: Farmworker of the Year finalists

Hugh Sapsed

Hoo Farm, Bedfordshire

Hugh Sapsed in oilseed rape crop

Hugh Sapsed © Tim Scrivener

Winning ways

  • Great adaptability and innovative ideas
  • An adept problem solver whose solutions demonstrate understated brilliance and simplicity
  • Hugely dedicated to the farm
  • Highly respected member of the team and the community

Hugh’s time-saving initiatives include expanding gateways and keeping hedges low so the combine boom can remain down and his innovative combination of the Avadex applicator to the rolls.

“When Hugh joined the business, he came in to replace the work of two men, undertaking all of the farm maintenance,” said farm manager Paul Sheard.

Hugh is a true servant to the farm he’s been at for the past 12 years, and has been instrumental in winning a diverse range of new contracting work, including hedge-cutting or tree shearing, spraying, digger and construction work.

“I have brought tenants on to units and found farmers to take on buildings for cattle,” said Mr Sapsed.

“I managed to get 90 acres of extra contracting work last year too – my thinking is the more varied things we take on the better for the farm, landlords and job security.”

Hugh is a multi-talented farmworker across every facet of the farm – adept at plumbing, brick laying, plastering, woodwork and electronics – and he proudly states he can drive anything.

“Hugh arrived with a vast amount of experience and is really the sort of guy you don’t come across anymore,” added Mr Sheard.

Farmworker of the Year 2017 is sponsored by Isuzu

Finalists were:

  • Stephen Adams, Firs Farm, Caxton, Cambridgeshire
  • Gary Hawker, Clandon Farm, Dorchester