2010 FW Awards: Secrets of success

Started your entry for the 2010 Farmers Weekly Awards? Wondering what the judges will be looking for? Here are some tips from those in the know – the independent judges.




Farm Manager of the Year

Farm Manager of the Year“A good farm manager needs strong financial business principles and I will be looking to identify how the individual demonstrates this. He or she will need a vision and strategy for the business and a passion for farming. However, to be an excellent farm manager requires attention to detail using all resources efficiently. Profitability is key, but respect for the owners’ objectives and the environment are also essential.”

Adrian Cannon is a farm business consultant for Strutt & Parker


Diversification Farmer

Divesification Farmer“The opportunities for diversification are so varied that it is difficult to prejudge what the successful applicant will offer. Ideally, I’d like to see a venture that complements the existing farm business and benefits the local community as well as perhaps servicing a wider market. But there will also be situations where a successful new venture is quite separate from the farm and run on essentially commercial lines.”

Peter Prag is head of rural research at Chesterton Humberts



Poultry Farmer of the Year

Poultry Farmer of the Year“Succeeding in the highly competitive poultry sector has never been harder than it is today. I am looking for a producer who has the drive and determination to make his business prosper in these challenging times. He or she must be dedicated, hardworking and have the foresight to try new methods to drive the business forward, while not neglecting his responsibilities to animal welfare and the environment.”

John Newton is a senior ADAS consultant (animal health and welfare)


Beef Farmer of the Year

Beef Farmer of the Year“I will look for a beef producer who is working to a plan and has a vision as to how his or her system marries up to the future challenges of the sector. The winner will be fully aware of where he is in terms of physical performance and cost. He should have targeted the areas of possible improvement as well as maximising the resources available to him. The main focus is likely to be on breeding, feeding and marketing to supply an ever more discerning marketplace”.

Clive Brown is senior regional manager for EBLEX



Pig Farmer of the Year

Pig Farmer of the Year“The winner of Pig Farmer of the Year will be someone who is hot on production and has a drive to improve this year-on-year. It would be good to see someone with technical distinction showing that he is thinking outside of the box. The winner must have a profitable and sustainable business that is doing a good, all round job.”

Sam Walton is editor of Pig World



Young Farmer of the Year

Young Farmer of the Year“I am looking for someone whose initiative, energy and ongoing efforts are making a significant difference to the farm business. They will need a high level of understanding of farm business profitability and management as well as a concern and care for managing the British countryside. We would like to see a high level of social consciousness – and a willingness to project farming in the best of lights. Evidence of a belief in on-going education and training is also important.”

Paul Davies is vice-principal of the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester



Dairy Farmer of the Year

Dairy Farmer of the Year“I will be looking for a dairy producer with a professional, business-like approach, and an eye to the future challenges we might face. Good people management skills are essential and I will be looking closely at how staff are managed on-farm – after all, it’s the people on the ground that contribute to the success of any business.”

John Allen is managing partner of Kite Consulting



Arable Farmer of the Year

Arable Farmer of the Year“I am looking for an arable farmer with a passion for achieving top-class results from cost-effective production systems. Attention to detail and sound environmental management practices will need to be exhibited across the farm. Getting the best out of the available resources through planning and monitoring are key attributes for success.”

Keith Preston is head of Savills Agribusiness team



Green Energy Farmer of the Year

Green Energy Farmer of the Year“I’m looking for someone who’s not only passionate about renewables and energy, but also someone who can demonstrate a sound business case for what he or she is doing, as well as the environmental benefits. I think the competition is also the ideal opportunity to show that any farmer can do something to assess his or her energy use and thinking outside the box is good, as is advocacy of on-farm renewables and a desire to help others adopt technologies.”

Richard Crowhurst is the managing director of Enagri



Countryside Farmer

Countryside Farmer“I want to see farmers who clearly demonstrate their passion for farming’s role in addressing global pressures – through matching food production with care for the environment. They need to truly understand, and demonstrate how a long term, economically viable, farming business, showing environmental responsibility and the involvement of the local community can go hand-in-hand.”

Caroline Drummond is chief executive of LEAF



Sheep Farmer of the Year

Sheep Farmer of the Year“I will be looking for technical excellence and a desire to improve performance year-on-year from this year’s Sheep Farmer of the Year. It’s important that the eventual winner has enthusiasm and is working towards a long-term, sustainable future in the sheep industry. It is critical the business is financially viable going forward.”

Kate Phillips is a sheep and beef consultant for ADAS



Contractor of the Year

Contractor of the Year“Demanding customers and the uncertainties of the weather make farm contracting one of the most challenging areas to work in. The ability to look after individual needs, adapt and remain completely flexible whatever the circumstances require the focus and energy of a dedicated professional contractor who is capable of looking ahead for the next opportunity and technical gain.”

Paul Temple farms near Driffield and is a former NFU vice-president



Local Food Farmer

Local Food Farmer“We all know that competing against supermarkets for shoppers is difficult and therefore I’ll be looking for a farmer or farming business dealing with an extra special edge. The business must be extremely customer focused and understand the marketplace it is serving. It will also have to do something a little innovatively. In my work, I’m constantly surprised at the incredible work farmers do and I’m confident that the winner will reflect this.”

Lee Woodger is head of the NFU’s food chain unit



Livestock Adviser

Livestock Adviser“You can’t template good advice. I’m looking for someone who has the ability to think outside the box. They need to be able to demonstrate how they work with the farmer to find out what’s best for each situation. And they should have an awareness of the key drivers, locally and more globally, affecting change in the sector.”

Lyndon Edwards is a dairy farmer and former RABDF chairman



To enter this year’s awards complete an online entry form here, or ring Marion Philips on 020 8652 4081. The closing date is 30 April. 

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