The Farmers Weekly Farmer of the Year 2010 is West Country beef, sheep and arable producer John Hoskin.
The gold Farmer of the Year trophy was presented on the awards night by DEFRA secretary Caroline Spelman in front of more than 1200 guests, made up of farmers, finalists and industry VIPs.
They gathered to recognise and celebrate the achievements of 45 outstanding finalists – and 16 winners. Actress and TV presenter Liza Tarbuck hosted the awards ceremony and admitted to being “awestruck by the talent and skills of today’s farmers”.
Farmers Weekly editor Jane King described Mr Hoskin as unassuming and said that he believed his achievements were no more remarkable than many others.
“Yet this ordinary farmer has achieved extraordinary things. He’s a tenant farmer on the Duchy estate at Maiden Castle Farms in Dorset who has exploited opportunities in the food chain, innovated and diversified to double the profits on his two mixed farms in the past five years.”
He is a traditional farmer who sleeps, eats and breathes farming, she added. He has inspired his sons, and their wives, to carry significant responsibilities in helping drive the farm forward. Just as powerful has been his influence in supporting and energising other farmers and key players in the food chain to build a sustainable British beef business.
In presenting the trophy, Caroline Spelman, said: “John is an outstanding farmer who epitomises all that’s great about British farming and its families.”