As nominations for the 2007 Farmers Weekly Awards gather pace, meet the independent judges who will select Britain’s farming finest
TERRA ARABLE FARMER OF THE YEAR
Philip Wynn, director Wynn Business Partnerships
Philip Wynn’s agricultural career spans over 30 years, involving the management of a diverse range of farming businesses, as well as strategic advice to clients.
Mr Wynn developed Aubourn Farming into a national farming and consultancy organisation which became part of the Savills Group in the early 1990s. He now runs his own consultancy business with a client base that includes the management of 4050ha (10,000 acres) of arable and livestock farms in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
What Mr Wynn will be looking for:
*Meticulous attention to detail in all aspects of crop production
*Excellent physical and financial performance of individual crops and utilisation of labour and power resources
*Care for the environment
*Top class results
*Leadership qualities that bring the whole team together to achieve and deliver business goals.
Caroline Drummond has worked with LEAF since its inception in 1991 after lecturing in agronomy at Shuttleworth College. Ms Drummond works throughout the UK and Europe developing and promoting Integrated Farm Management through demonstration farms, management tools, including the LEAF Audit through to the market place with LEAF Marque produce. She is a fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies, sits on government steering groups and is a governor and on the School of Agriculture for the Royal Agricultural College.
What Ms Drummond will be looking for:
*Farmers who are passionate about their business and their role as stewards of the countryside
*Farmers who are balancing the need for a long term economically viable farming business, showing environmental responsibility while at the same time as giving something back to the local community.
MASSEY FERGUSSON YOUNG FARMER OF THE YEAR
Paul Davies, professor of Agriculture and vice-principal at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester.
Paul Davies has taught both at Writtle and Harper Adams colleges as well as at the RAC during his 30 year plus career in agricultural education. He also takes on advisory roles in the agrochemical industry, food business and the animal feed sectors.
What Prof Davies will be looking for:
*Someone who stands out from the crowd
*Someone who, through his or her commitment and determination, together with their willingness to take business risks alongside a lot of hard work, is realising their goals
*Someone who is a bit visionary and can see and exploit current opportunities and make the most of new market opportunities.
Tom Hind has been NFU chief dairy adviser since January 2004, based at the union’s headquarters in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. He has worked for the NFU since 1998 covering different positions from local group secretary to assistant director of the NFU’s Brussels office, the Bureau
What Mr Hind will be looking for:
*Farmers who have exploited their contracts to get the best returns from the market
*Farmers who have anticipated the growing environmental agenda and taken steps to mitigate environmental impacts in a cost effective manner
*Farmers who have not only maximised returns from milk but are also doing the same for dairy beef.
After 22 years at the NFU, joining as a group secretary and leaving as a national poultry specialist, John Newton moved to ADAS in 2004.
Mr Newtown is looking for:
*Someone who is farsighted enough to be doing something different and making a profit.
MCDONALDS BEEF FARMER OF THE YEAR
David Hendy, independent beef and sheep consultant
David Hendy has worked in the beef and sheep sectors for more than 35 years and has extensive experience in production, nutrition, marketing and processing.
What Mr Hendy will be looking for:
*A beef farmer who has benchmarked production costs, variable, and fixed and overheads
*Someone who uses latest technology to improve production and reduce costs and produces to a marketing blueprint and a long term business plan.
FARM HEALTH PLANNING SHEEP FARMER OF THE YEAR
Chris Lloyd, EBLEX industry development manager
Chris Lloyd spent the early part of his career as commercial manager of the National Sheep Association. He joined EBLEX as manager of the Sheep Better Returns Programme in 2003. Having managed the BRP from its inception he now oversees both the Sheep BRP and the recently launched Beef BRP.
What Mr Lloyd will be looking for:
*A sheep enterprise which is managed in a professional manner making use of modern shepherd methods and techniques
*Stock performance, including high levels of production resulting from careful health management will be crucial together with skilled financial management.
KLEBER CONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR
Richard Minton, chairman of the National Association of Agricultural Contractors
Richard Minton has worked in the amenity sector and is starting a new business, JPCS Weed Control. He also represents the industry on a number of committees promoting best practice and the safe use of pesticides.
What Mr Minton will be looking for:
*An operator who puts customer service first
*Someone who believes contractors need to improve their image and meet the high standards demanded not only by customers, but also by the strict legislation that now governs the work they do.
David Catlow, president of the British Vet Association, graduated from Liverpool University Veterinary School in 1987 and joined a five-vet mixed practice on the Fylde coast, Lancashire. He has helped to develop the practice into what is now a 3-centre 14 vet practice which was awarded Investor In People status in 2005.
What Mr Catlow will be looking for:
*An adviser who is able to help clients generate new revenue streams and implement cost saving measures which can improve enterprise efficiency
*Advisers should lead the thinking in sector and inspire change in the businesses they work with.
CROPS ARABLE ADVISER OF THE YEAR
Colin Myram, independent arable consultant
After leaving Wye College with a degree in Agriculture, Colin Myram joined Baywood Chemicals, later to become Bayer, first to manage agricultural trials, and then Bayer’s advisory services in the eastern counties. In the mid ‘80s he joined Norfolk-based specialist distributor Crop Care Chemicals to manage their trials and agronomy service. Mr Myram became technical director of Agrovista following the merger of Crop Care Chemicals with Profarma and is now an independent consultant for a range of agrochemical firms.
What Mr Myram will be looking for:
*The role the agronomist plays in developing their clients’ successful arable business, together with a sound technical knowledge of all arable issues
*Ability to give sound advice on the ever increasing rules and regulations facing agronomists and farmers, and having excellent communication skills.
FARMSHOP.UK.COM LOCAL FOOD FARMER OF THE YEAR
Charles Trotman, CLA rural economy adviser
Charles Trotman has worked at the Country Land and Business Association for the past five years during which time he been responsible for co-ordinating all food policy programmes.
What Dr Trotman will be looking for:
*Businesses that have truly captured a market and can demonstrate a viable business model.
CLAAS FARM MANAGER OF THE YEAR
David Bolton, Cheffins consultant
Mr Bolton will be looking for:
*Someone who has made a significant impact on the business through restructuring, collaboration, adding value or cutting costs
*Evidence of strong business and staff management
*Evidence of leadership skills.
HOW TO ENTER
For information about how to enter the 2007 Farmers Weekly Awards, visit our Farmers Weekly Awards website. Or contact Awards co-ordinator Jacqui Winn on 020 8652 4002 or email Jacqui.firstname.lastname@example.org