2013 Farmers Weekly Awards: Meet the finalists

The judges have deliberated and produced 2013’s shortlist…

ARABLE FARMER OF THE YEAR

Tom Dye, Norfolk

Tom manages 1,925ha of cropping, including sugar beet and combinables, and has successfully taken on more land while at the same time increasing yields of oilseed rape and sugar beet.

James Mayes, Bedfordshire

Farming 850ha of combinable cropping for Sentry, James has driven the business forward by making many changes, including the method of establishing oilseed rape.


Jeremy Oatey, Cornwall

A first-generation farmer, Jeremy manages 1,080ha of potatoes, vegetables and combinable crops and has successfully added value to crops by supplying local markets.



YOUNG FARMER OF THE YEAR


Richard Tucker, Devon

Richard has grown the spring calving herd to 200 with 140 followers and tripled the comparable farm profit in three years. A technically excellent pasture-based dairy farm.

Jonathan Skinner, Norfolk

Jonathan built his own 30,000-bird poultry enterprise from scratch on the family arable and sheep farm. Clear focus on cashflow and reducing costs alongside an excellent marketing plan.

Rupert Major, Staffordshire

His meticulous approach to growing grass has allowed Rupert to double the size of the family dairy herd to 500 cows. Passionate about herd health and bringing young people into the industry.


COUNTRYSIDE FARMER OF THE YEAR

Robert Kynaston, Shropshire

A cropping and grassland management strategy designed to create a mosaic of habitats, along with an HLS agreement, are all part of Robert’s efforts to make his 97ha dairy and arable business wildlife friendly.

Eurwyn Edwards, Caernarfon

Conservation and the environment lie at the heart of farm policy at the 300ha college farm at the Group Llandrillo-Menai College based in north-west Wales.

Robert Kilby, Surrey

Situated inside the M25, the farm is an important habitat on the urban fringe of London and farm manager Robert is combining profitable crop production with creating a safe haven for flora and fauna.



POULTRY FARMER OF THE YEAR


Susie MacMillan, West Sussex

Susie produces organic eggs from her 21,000 hens at The Mac’s Farm in West Sussex, part of the larger Grassington Rangers business. Susie and her husband Danny have an open farm policy, encouraging the public to visit.

Anthony Burgess, Aberystwyth

Tony and his wife Gwen have built up the successful Birchgrove free-range egg business in west Wales, contracting other suppliers and developing a strong brand. Marketing is central to their success.

Richard and Stephen Tulip, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Lintz Hall Farm has expanded significantly in recent years under the guidance of brothers Richard and Stephen. They run both colony and free-range flocks, supplying retail, wholesale and food service customers.


FARM ADVISER OF THE YEAR

Doug Jackson, AG Advisory LLP, East Sussex

All sectors and all sizes are covered by Doug, who is a managing partner in this farm business advisory consultancy. Clients range from small 20ha units to 1,800ha estates.

Jonathan Reader, Synergy, Dorset

Jonathan is a director and practising vet in Synergy Farm Health. He provides vet advice, consultancy, research and training to dairy, beef and sheep businesses from Swanage to Honiton.

Keith Norman, Velcourt Farming Company, Lincolnshire

Keith has been at the forefront of arable technical advice for the past 26 years, providing crop management guidelines based on scientific trials for Velcourt’s own farm managers and European clients.



GREEN ENERGY FARMER OF THE YEAR


Andrew Chennells, Lincoln

Investment in energy-efficient cold storage and solar PV has reduced costs and carbon footprint at the Chennells family’s 1,800ha cereals and root vegetables business.

John Seed, Duns

John has developed an innovative biomass grain drying system, which aims to reduce costs and “bring resilience” back into family farms.

Adam Twine, Oxfordshire

Adam has brought farming and the community together to create community-owned solar and wind farms with more than 4,000 members combined.


PIG FARMER OF THE YEAR

Jeremy Brown, Exeter

A drive to produce more than 2t of meat and weaning 30 pigs a sow a year has led to a great deal of investment on this 260-sow farrow to finishing unit.

Richard and Liz Knox, Exeter

A move from outdoor pigs to an indoor unit has sparked great investment in this farm over the past 10 years. Production has been increased to spread fixed costs, with 280 sows taken to bacon weight.

Ian Davidson, Aberdeenshire

Key performance indicators are something this enterprise has a firm handle on, with most pigs from the 300 sows sold through Scottish Pig Producers, with a niche market also supplying top-class hotels.



DIVERSIFICATION FARMER OF THE YEAR


Martin Hamilton, Northern Ireland

Mash Direct is an independent, family-owned business run by Martin at his 405ha farm in County Down, supplying mashed vegetable products directly to major supermarkets.

Lord Robert Newborough, Denbighshire

Rhug Estate is a 2,711ha organic farming enterprise owned by Lord Newborough and incorporating a farm shop, bistro and takeaway, Borough Market outlet and renewable energy schemes.

Chris Philpot, Essex

Barleylands Farm is an 800ha arable farming business in Billericay, which has diversified into an innovative farm study centre for thousands of children.


FARM MANAGER OF THE YEAR

Richard Price, Cumbria

In five years at the Lowther Estate Richard has managed huge changes on 1,292ha to create positive cashflow. New marketing arrangements and collaboration with neighbouring farmers have been key.

Richard Smith, Gloucestershire

Richard manages the diverse Daylesford Organic Farms business on 609ha. His strategic decisions produce award-winning food with impressive sustainability credentials.

Sion Williams, Scottish Borders

Efficiency improvements and market-focused cattle, sheep and arable enterprise changes have been at the heart of Sion’s policies on the Bowhill Estate, where he manages the 3,786ha mixed farming business.



BEEF FARMER OF THE YEAR


James and Alec Cowan, Ceredigion

James and Alec have overhauled their suckler herd of 120 cows, moving away from selling weaning calves to produce finished breeding stock. By focusing their breeding strategy gross margins are up 30%.

Harri Parri, Gwynedd

A herd of 210 Stabiliser cattle is at the heart of this low-input system. Harri is also using pioneering genetics to produce quality breeding stock, with a firm focus on high health status.

Phillip Jones, Carmarthen

Huge strides have been made since switching to organic. Improved grassland management has reduced the reliance on bought-in feed, while benchmarking has improved performance of the herd’s 100 Welsh Black cross cows.


FARMWORKER OF THE YEAR

Frank Beresford, Nottinghamshire

Frank is the tractor driver and general farmworker at Red House Farm. He has worked on the arable and dairy farm since July 2004 and has a key role in the day-to-day running of the farm.

Melvyn Britton, Devon

Melvyn is the stockman and general farmworker on RE and D Snell’s sheep and dairy farm. He has worked on the farm since 1969.

Dominic Hutter, Somerset

Dominic is the lead worker at James Down’s mixed farm. He has worked on the farm since 2008 and his main responsibilities cover milking and feeding, plus arable and silage duties.



SHEEP FARMER OF THE YEAR


Keith Williams, Powys

Keith runs 800 Welsh Mules, Texel and Lleyn ewes in Hendy, Llandrindod Wells. He operates a rotational grazing system and focuses on silage quality to minimise concentrate use.

Edward Collins, Herefordshire

EID is used as a key management tool at Edward’s farm in Leominster, Herefordshire. He farms 380 Lleyns and a small flock of Blue Texels. All stock are performance recorded.

Russell Scott, County Tyrone

Russell runs 330 ewes on a stratified breeding system. All ewes are recorded using management software and his aim is to increase the number of lambs weaned a ewe a year.


DAIRY FARMER OF THE YEAR

Hugh McClymont, Dumfries

Hugh runs two high-profile dairy units housing 510 cows and 310 youngstock in a research centre owned by Scotland’s Rural College.

Charles Reader, Northamptonshire

A tireless passion for the Jersey breed is at the heart of this family business, which is delivering strong profit growth year on year.

David Morton, Ayrshire

David’s shrewd approach to investment and expansion has led to a dynamic business on 500 acres with 230 milking cows and 350 youngstock.



CONTRACTOR FARMER OF THE YEAR


Philip Clappison, East Yorkshire

Philip runs an impressive agricultural contracting business specialising in potato production. He has built up a base of 151 clients across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Jonathan West, Kent

Jonathan manages a large contracting operating in Kent with a growing customer base of more than 1,200. Almost all aspects of arable and livestock farming can be covered with the extensive range of machinery.

Mark Andrew, Cornwall

Mark started his agricultural contracting business in 1994 and has built up an impressive fleet of equipment for carrying out his grass and forage services. He has 900 customers on his books.


LOCAL FOOD FARMER OF THE YEAR

Laura Mounce, Devon

Everything produced on the 93ha farm, including vegetables, beef, sheep and chicken, is sold in Lifton Farm Shop, restaurant and local farmers markets, which also benefit from the Mounces’ innovative marketing.

William Jewson, County Durham

Key to the growth of Knitsley Farm Shop since its launch in 2008 has been investment and a solid 89ha farming business, which has been in the Jewson family for six generations.

Colin McKee, County Down

The quality fresh produce from the 142ha farm at McKee’s Country Store is well known in the local area, as is the local outside catering business run alongside it by the family.


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