Farmers Weekly Awards 2023: Farmer of the Year

Husband and wife Craig and Claire Grant are the 2023 Farmers Weekly‘s Farmer of the Year – a credit to their innovative farming practices and remarkable work appetite.

The couple are true pioneers within the farming industry.

They designed the UK’s first split-feeding system for laying hens, were the first to calculate carbon footprint on an egg-specific basis and have created a local pulse market for arable farmers in north-east Scotland.

Their inspiring team spirit, shrewd costing analysis and farming passion across each aspect of their mixed farming business prove expansion and commercial farming can be achieved in a truly sustainable fashion.

See also: Farmers Weekly Awards 2023: Mixed Farmer of the Year finalists

The Grants run a fully-integrated mixed farm with 160,000 laying hens, 200ha of combinable crops, 270 bulling heifers and a flying sheep flock of 1,500 ewes and lambs.

They have quadrupled land area to 320ha of owned and rented ground in just four years.

Their success boils down to hard work, commitment and determination – and not forgetting the help and support from their fantastic team of 15 dedicated employees who form part of their farming family.

Cattle and sheep play a particularly important role using areas of permanent pasture. Combinable crops are fed to livestock, with nutrient-rich muck returned to the land.

In fact, artificial fertiliser applications on grassland have been eliminated and the team finished more than 1,000 lambs on its home-grown bean and barley mix.

With a drive to cut escalating feed bills, soya in poultry diets was cut by 50% and replaced with home-grown spring beans.

This was grown for £3/percentage point of protein, compared with purchasing soya at £8. The couple are now collaborating with local farmers to grow beans to meet demand.

Craig and Claire’s commitment to farming shines through in technical performance and the complementary loop between each enterprise.

Meticulous data collection and community engagements add to their winning ways.

The couple joined the Farmer Time initiative, pairing with a school in Manchester. They have also constructed a 2,500m public footpath across the farm.

They sell eggs from the farm lane, and donate eggs on a monthly basis to a local foodbank that supplies hampers to vulnerable families.

They pride themselves on providing opportunities for the next generation and currently have two agricultural apprentices as part of the Kindrought team.

Five things that make Craig and Claire Grant 2023’s Farmer of the Year

  1. Complementary mixed farm with vision, commitment and passion for each enterprise
  2. Pioneering farm practices such as innovative split-feeding system
  3. Impressive drive to cut feed costs by replacing 50% of soya with home-grown beans
  4. Meticulous data collection and shrewd costing
  5. Excellent community engagement and employee management

The Farmers Weekly 2023 Farmer of the Year Award is sponsored by Agrovista

Agrovista“Huge congratulations to Craig and Claire Grant of Kindrought, who have clearly been growing through innovation. Their attention to detail, passion and hard work make them truly worthy winners of this prestigious award. Agrovista wish them all the very best for the future.”

Jodie Champion, Agrovista head of marketing

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