FW Awards 2009: Meet the finalists

Forty-five businesses have made it to the finals of the Farmers Weekly Awards 2009.


The judging starts now, and the winners – and the winner of the Farmer of the Year Award – will be named at our awards ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House hotel on Thursday, 8 October.


The full list of contenders is below. Alternatively, click on the map to find all the details:



View Meet the Farmers Weekly Awards Finalists 2009 in a larger map




Arable Adviser of the Year


Sponsored by Firestone


Steve Cook, Hampshire



  • Steve is senior partner in Hampshire Arable Systems, offering technical, cross-compliance and environmental arable advice on over 8000ha (20,000 acres) across six southern counties. His clients describe him as a technically excellent agronomist, who provides a complete service

Chris Martin, North Yorkshire



  • Chris is an agronomist for Agrovista providing advice to over 90 clients in NE England. His advice covers legislation and soil management as well as chemicals. He is also heavily involved in organising specific trials for biofuel production in the north east

Peter Riley, Norfolk



  • Peter runs Prime Agriculture, which provides advice on over 90,000ha (222,000 acres) across East Anglia. His advice leads to better performance and new opportunities for his clients. He has also built up significant relationships with discussion groups, industry organisations and environmental groups




Dairy Farmer of the Year


Sponsored by DairyCo


Anthony Gotthard, Somerset



  • Anthony is the fifth generation to farm at Slough Court, a 160ha (400-acre) unit on the Somerset Levels to the east of Taunton, Somerset. Currently milking 366 dairy cows three times a day, most of the milk goes to Sainsbury’s, though some is diverted to a fledgling farmhouse ice cream business

Robert and Jane Targett, Somerset



  • The Targetts are based at Park Farm, Castle Cary and run a high input, high output herd of 200 milkers, with a strong interest in cow breeding and showing. Close attention is paid to cost control, while premium prices are earned through the Waitrose contract

Scott Bagwell, Dorset



  • Scott runs 320ha (800 acres) at Field Barn Farm near Blandford Forum, having worked his way up from relief milker to farm manager over the past six years. There are about 300 pedigree cows producing 2.5m litres a year for Dairy Crest and the plans are for continued expansion




Arable farmer of the year


Sponsored by GrowHow


Ben Atkinson, Lincolnshire



  • Ben, in partnership with father John, oversees 2451ha (6000 acres) owned, tenanted and contract farmed growing winter wheat and oilseed rape, beans and sugar beet on mainly fen soils. He is a former Farmers Weekly Barometer farmer

Andrew Gloag, North Yorkshire



  • Andrew’s family contract farming business has more than doubled in five years to cover 1792ha (4400 acres) of combinable crops on mainly heavy clay land. He is a former Farmers Weekly Barometer farmer

Nick Rowsell, Hampshire



  • Nick grows winter wheat, barley, oats and oilseed rape, spring barley and poppies as owner, tenant and contract farmer on a total of 1700ha (4200 acres)




Diversification Farmer of the Year


Sponsored by James Miles-Hobbs


Anthony Curwen, Kent



  • Anthony runs Quex Park, a 728ha (1800 acres) estate producing beef and arable crops. As well as a farm shop and restaurant, the estate has diversified to include a garden centre, workshops and offices

Caroline and William Alexander, Kent



  • The Alexander’s 450ha (1100 acres) beef and arable farm has expanded since the 1980s to include offices and The Hop Shop selling oils and foods made from farm-grown lavender, as well as beef and fruit

Tom Mellor, Yorkshire



  • Malting barley produced on Tom’s 233ha (575 acres) of arable land is used to produce World Top Beer at his on-farm micro-brewery. The successful enterprise is also accompanied by a free-range poultry unit




Beef Farmer of the Year


Sponsored by McDonald’s


David Baillie, Lanarkshire



  • David farms 650ha (1600 acres) in partnership with his father, running a mixed upland beef and sheep unit. The farm is home to 180 suckler cows, including a small pedigree Limousin herd, and 900 ewes and part of the farm forms an SSSI

David Lawton, Cumbria



  • David is a partner in Greystoke Farms, a 930ha (2300-acre) SDA/LFA farm carrying 285 suckler cows and 2500 ewes. David aims to keep fixed costs to a minimum and uses the unit’s economies of scale to implement an NZ style ranching system

Alistair Bull, Norfolk



  • Alistair is livestock manager for Thelveton Farms. The Farm extends to 1566ha (3900 acres) and total cattle numbers are 1360, including a 325 cow suckler herd and a bull beef unit finishing Continental cross calves. Suckler cows are run on ESA marshland and parkland




Farm Manager of the Year


Sponsored by Claas


Nick Padwick, Leicestershire



  • Nick manages the 1755ha Stoughton Estate for the Co-operative Farms near Leicester with 1565ha (3860 acres) of cropping and the rest in environmental schemes and grassland. From his base at Oadby Lodge Farm he manages a series of contract farming agreements for a range of clients plus some rented land

Matthew Bowe, Suffolk



  • Matthew oversees operations on a mixed estate including rare breed sheep and cattle, the UK’s biggest fallow deer enterprise and an integrated on-farm butchery and processing plant. There is also over 1000 acres of arable cropping

Simon Beddows, Berkshire



  • Simon is farm manager at Phillimore Farms, a privately-owned 1000ha (2500 acres) estate near Reading, Berkshire. The arable area includes 800ha with a further 70ha contract farmed for a neighbour




Pig Farmer of the Year


Sponsored by Waitrose


Richard Hooper, Shropshire



  • Richard manages 232 sows with 116 gilts at Harper Adams University College pig unit. Richard’s aim is to offer facilities for both students and contract research while also demonstrating profitable and commercial pig farming.

Rob Mutimer, Norfolk



  • Rob runs a mixed farm with an arable rotation, sheep flock and outdoor pig herd, as well as a farm shop. The farm is based around an outdoor sow unit of 600 sows. The majority of pigs go to Dalehead Foods for Waitrose.

Martin Barker, Staffordshire



  • Martin runs an integrated arable and pig operation called Midland Pig Producers. Running 3000 sows over seven farms, through intensive commercial production to optimise efficiency and keep production costs to a minimum.




Sheep Farmer of the Year


Sponsored by Farmplan


Andrew Elliot, Borders



  • Andrew manages mixed upland farms at Newhall and Blackhaugh running 1200 low input ewes based on the Hill North Country Cheviot breed on 600ha (1500 acres)

Hefin Llywd, Devon



  • Hefin owns a beef and sheep unit running a 700-strong commercial flock of Mules, Lleyn x Mules and Romneys alongside a pedigree flock of 340 Lleyn breeding ewes

Chris and Caroline Hodgkins, West Sussex



  • Chris and Caroline run 3000 pure Romney Ewes, and 24 pedigree Hampshire Down ewes on 570ha (1400 acres) of which 485ha are in the South Downs Environmentally Sensitive Area




Young Farmer of the Year


Sponsored by Massey Ferguson


James Price, Oxfordshire



  • This ambitious and business astute young grower has expanded his interests and grown margins year on year with his father through arable, composting and precision farming. Diversification has been a significant part of his success

Edward Clark, Buckinghamshire



  • The core of this business is combinable crops with a successful suckler herd and beef finishing unit, which allows labour to be used throughout the year. The 34-year-old manages 400ha (990 acres) of which half is owned and the rest tenanted and contract farmed

Tom Rawson, Yorkshire



  • Tom Rawson and his wife Catherine run a 300-cow diary business called Clever Cow Organics and have started a herd advisory service, which is opening up all sorts of interesting opportunities for the future.




Countryside Farmer of the Year


Sponsored by Natural England


Guy Smith, Essex



  • In the past 20 years, Guy has doubled his landholding to 430ha (1060 acres), all farmed in hand, while adding fishing lakes and a golf park

Nicholas Watts, Lincolnshire



  • Nicholas farms 850ha (2100 acres), including 100ha organically, while running a bird seed business set to turn over £2m this year

Richard Bramley, Yorkshire



  • Richard farms 190ha (470 acres) with holiday lets near York, managing to generate a profit for two families despite limited opportunities to expand




Livestock Adviser of the Year


Sponsored by Silotite


Dick Sibley, Devon



  • Veterinary surgeon Dick is committed to achieving better health, production and welfare in the livestock industry. He has also founded and developed myhealthyherd.com, a web-based herd health management programme

Robert Mintern, Somerset



  • As dairy adviser for Kingshay, Rob is committed to maximising cow comfort and profitability. His main role is delivering the HowsMyHerd service, a complete farm assessment providing low cost solutions to high cost problems

David Hendy, Essex



  • Rumen development and rumen management is at the heart of David’s independent beef and sheep consultancy business. He is focused on maximising production and reducing costs




Local Food Farmer of the Year


Sponsored by Asda


Ian Jalland, Leicestershire



  • Ian opened Brockleby’s farm shop in 2005 as a showcase for regionally-produced food and drink. Famed for its hand-made Melton Mowbray pork pies, the shop also sells meat from Ian’s flock of 600 Hebridean sheep

Steve & Heather Tucker, Somerset



  • A downturn in the pig industry in the 1990’s was the catalyst for Steve and Heather to establish White Row Farm shop. Since opening, it has grown significantly, but the pair still aim to produce as much as possible of what they sell

Roland Watkins, Carmarthenshire



  • Roland regards the recent opening of Cwmcerrig farm shop & grill as the next step in creating a profitable future for the 100ha family beef and sheep farm. It promises visitors a “traditional Welsh shopping experience with a modern twist”




Poultry Farmer of the Year


Sponsored by E B Equipment


David Speller, Derbyshire



  • David rears 180,000 broilers for Moy Park at his unit in the Peak District National Park. He has adopted the latest innovations such as under floor heating, a novel odour control system and in shed CCTV.

Elwyn Griffiths, Shropshire



  • Elywn and his brother Gareth run the Shropshire egg unit with a focus on bird welfare, housing birds in a colony system. Not only do they sell shell eggs, they also supply egg products, such as liquid egg

Dan Wood, Devon



  • Dan Wood is the second generation of the Wood family to manage the business, which his father established 30 years ago. The company supplies eggs to over 700 customers including independent shops and aims to be fully free range by 2012.




Green Energy Farmer of the Year


Sponsored by British Sugar


John Ibbett, Bedfordshire



  • John is chairman of Bedfordia which farms 2226ha (5500 acres) of mainly arable land and rears 23,000 pigs a year. The company has a large anaerobic digestion (biogas) plant that uses slurry from the pigs and food waste

Richard Gedge, Devon



  • Richard runs a 81ha (200-acre) mixed livestock farm, with all farm heating and hot water supplied by biomass boiler and all electricity from a wind turbine. The farm supplies wood fuel to local residents with wood-chip boilers and operates a food waste composter

Russell Armstrong, Cambridgeshire



  • Russell runs the Co-op’s 1480ha (3657 acre) Coldham Estate, growing arable crops and vegetables. The farm has a comprehensive energy-saving plan and hosts eight 2MW wind turbines, with planning permission for seven more




Contractor of the Year


Sponsored by JCB


Charlie Baker, Oxfordshire



  • Charlie operates a range of forage, stubble-to-stubble, slurry and waste management contracts. He also works with the RSPB to manage conservation plots.

Peter & Richard Burbage, Northamptonshire



  • Brothers Peter and Richard offer clients complete forage packages, as well as slurry and manure spreading options. They use GPS mapping and autosteer to control costs.

Andrew & Michael Stapleton, Yorkshire



  • Andrew and Michael run their own dairy herd and forage in excess of 8500 acres of grass and maize. They have expanded to provide slurry management, forage contracts, drainage work and fabrication services.



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