Extra bargaining power to negotiate a better deal is something any livestock producer would cherish, and it’s a skill many past winners of the Farmers Weekly Awards have been able to experience.
Sheep Farmer of the Year 2008, Crosby Cleland, says winning the award has enabled him to settle better contracts with various processors. This in turn has helped influence supermarket deals.
“We have received recognition for our achievement throughout the industry – from farmers, to supermarkets and right through to the Department of Agriculture. We’re looked upon as a progressive farm and because we record, people trust what we are saying.”
Receiving the award also highlighted the benefits of flock recording and has encouraged Mr Cleland to look more closely into performance figures.
“We’ve always looked at liveweight gain, but now we follow individual animals all the way through and look at them as a final product for the supermarket.
“Greater recording has made me look at quantity rather than quality. I look to produce consistent peas in a pod and now produce more lambs an acre.”
Greater recognition within the industry has also helped him lobby for improvements. “Getting the processor to record individual lambs and kill-out information has been on our wishlist for some time.
“It now looks like the processors have listened and we are likely to see changes throughout the UK.”
It may be easy to talk yourself out of entering for 2011 Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year, but there is a wealth of benefits to be had – not only in terms of business appraisal, but also for team recognition. Nothing conveys greater recognition of a job well done than being shortlisted or winning a Farmers Weekly Award. So why not bite the bullet and give it a go – you may just surprise yourself.
Reasons to enter
• Industry recognition for you, your family and your team
• The ability to negotiate better contracts
• Business appraisal
• The chance to experience the best night out in farming for you and your partner
You can enter or nominate someone for Sheep Farmer of the Year or ring Alma Watson on 020 8652 8026 for an entry form. Entries close on 30 April 2011.
Nominate someone and you’ll also be entered into a draw to win two tickets to the awards, plus overnight accommodation.
2011 Farmers Weekly Awards