Are you hoping to win a title in the 2012 Farmers Weekly Awards? If so, find out who it is you’ll need to impress with this introduction to our judges.
Finalists are selected by an independent panel of experts that includes an expert for that sector, last year’s winner and a member of the Farmers Weekly editorial team.
Three short-listed finalists will be selected from the entries for each category by this judging team.
Each of these finalists is visited by the category judging team during the summer.
2012 Farmers Weekly Arable Farmer of the Year
Category judges Jock Willmott, Farmers Weekly’s Richard Allison and last year’s winner Colin McGregor
“I am looking for a business that punches above its weight for the resources at its disposal, businesses that are consistent and focused on profitable farming, with an eye on the future.”
Jock Willmott is a partner at Strutt & Parker land agents.
2012 Farmers Weekly Green Energy Farmer of the Year
Category judges Andrew Kneeshaw, Farmers Weekly’s Will Frazer and last year’s winner Neil Gourlay
“I’ll be looking for someone who understands their energy use; knows where it goes and has made rational steps to minimise it. Energy use and generation must occupy their rightful place and dovetail in with the wider aspirations of a farm business, both environmentally and financially.”
Andrew Kneeshaw is managing director of Farm Energy Centre.
2012 Farmers Weekly Pig Farmer of the Year
Category judges Zoe Davies, Farmers Weekly’s Jane King and last year’s winner Stuart Bosworth
“I am looking for someone who is not simply running a fantastic business, but who understands and inspires their staff and customers. They also need to be thinking creatively and driving forward innovations in productivity, welfare and customer focus.”
Dr Zoe Davies is regions manager for the National Pig Association.
2012 Farmers Weekly Farm Contractor of the Year
Category judges Philip Wynn, Power Farming’s James Andrews and last year’s winner Chris Awdry
“I will be seeking to find the contractor who continually delights his farming clients through his efficient and cost effective delivery. This top rate will need to be carefully linked to the profitability of his own business and his ability to reinvest in both efficiency and new technology to ensure the operation is sustainable for the long-term.”
Philip Wynn is director of Wynn Business Partnerships Ltd.
2012 Farmers Weekly Countryside Farmer of the Year
Category judges Geoff Sansome, Farmers Weekly’s Debbie Beaton and last year’s winner Chris Dowse
“I will be looking for how countryside management takes its place not only as an enterprise alongside other enterprises on the farm, but also how it compliments and adds value to the wider farm business. Quite simply, if the environmental subsidies stopped tomorrow would the farm continue with its current environmental practices which protect and enhance biodiversity?”
Geoff Sansome is performance director for Natural England.
2012 Farmers Weekly Beef Farmer of the Year
Category judges Simon Marsh, Farmers Weekly’s Aly Balsom and last year’s winner Sam Chesney
“I will be looking for a beef producer who is putting science into practice. Someone who is running an efficient system that is both sustainable, but more importantly profitable.”
Simon Marsh is a senior lecturer at Harper Adams University College.
2012 Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year
Category judges Liz Genever, Farmers Weekly’s Sarah Trickett and last year’s winner Simon Stott
“I am particularly interested in sheep producers who are maximising their use of grass and forage. I will also be looking for businesses that are thinking ahead with regards to the changing climate and lamb consumption. And someone who has an understanding of cost of production, liveweight gains and ewe efficiency”.
Dr Liz Genever is a livestock scientist for EBLEX.
2012 Farmers Weekly Poultry Farmer of the Year
Category judges Jason Gittins, Poultry World’s Philip Clarke and last year’s winner Nigel Joice.
“In judging this year’s competition I will be looking for someone with enthusiasm who can demonstrate success through technical efficiency, innovation and marketing. Someone who can anticipate future challenges and plan accordingly. And finally, someone who sets a positive example and can inspire others.”
Jason Gittins is a senior consultant for ADA Sustainable Livestock Group.
2012 Farmers Weekly Dairy Farmer of the Year
Category judges David Cotton, Farmers Weekly’s Gemma MacKenzie and last year’s winner Gavin Fowler
“It is not just about the performance but looking at the all-round business; whether the farm is wholly focussed on dairy or has other enterprises, how the farm relates to the local community, whether the farmer has other interests outside of the farm and what the long term prospects are for that business. There is no one way to be a dairy farmer and how the resources of that business are managed is very important.”
David Cotton is RABDF chairman.
2012 Farmers Weekly Farm Worker of the Year
Category judges Meurig Raymond, Farmers Weekly’s David Cousins and last year’s winner Liliya Kucher
“A good farm worker obviously needs to be dedicated, hard-working and highly motivated. But I will also be looking at how they use modern, sophisticated equipment and the extent to which they are able to grasp new innovations. I will also be looking for a good working relationship with the farmer and rest of the team.”
Meurig Raymond is deputy president of the NFU.
2012 Farmers Weekly Young Farmer of the Year
Category judges Paul Wilson, Farmers Weekly’s Isabel Davies and last year’s winner James Down
“The winner needs to apply science, technology and business knowhow, information and skills to drive forward a profitable and environmentally sustainable farming business. Drawing upon a strong passion for farming, they must demonstrate attention to detail, business vision and energy to enhance the image of agriculture to consumers and society.”
Dr Paul Wilson is associate professor of agricultural management and economics at the University of Nottingham.
2012 Farmers Weekly Local Food Farmer of the Year
Category judges Colin Dennis, Farmers Weekly’s Debbie Beaton and last year’s winner Will Simkin
“The winner of this award will be a passionate advocate for local food and will value the integrity of the produce extremely highly. I will be looking for people with sound business sense and a clear vision. They will be adapting successfully and profitably to challenge new conditions with the help of enthusiastic and well-motivated employees who share that vision.”
Colin Dennis is chairman of the English Food & Drink Alliance.
2012 Farmers Weekly Farm Advisor of the Year
Category judges Andrew Janaway, Farmers Weekly’s Julian Gairdner and last year’s winner James Miles-Hobbs
“Advisers play a crucial role in many successful farm businesses. I’d expect our winner to have a combination of professionalism, practical understanding and a strong empathy with their client and their client’s business to help them to achieve clearly define goals.”
Andrew Janaway is a farmer from Hampshire.
2012 Farmers Weekly Diversification Farmer of the Year
Category judges Alan Wilson Spedding, Farmers Weekly’s Johann Tasker and last year’s winners John and Rosemary Barnes.
“I expect there to be plenty of bright, imaginative people running profitable enterprises, so I will be looking among them for something fresh and new.”
Alan Wilson Spedding is a freelance rural consultant.
2012 Farmers Weekly Farm Manager of the Year
Category Judges Francis Mordaunt, Farmers Weekly’s Suzie Horne and last year’s winner Charlie Russell
“The successful farm manager should have a strategic plan that has taken into account the location and resources of the business and likely future government support and policy change. They should also have excellent technical and financial skills, staff leadership and development and be aware of environmental issues.”
Francis Mordaunt is a farm business adviser and agriculture industry analyst.