We’ve sifted through hundreds of entries to arrive at the 2019 Farmers Weekly Awards shortlist.
For each of the 14 categories there are three judges – an independent industry expert, last year’s winner and a member of the Farmers Weekly team.
Together, they will visit farms across the UK to meet our finalists – 41 inspirational farmers and advisers who are innovating to improve their business while protecting the environment and engaging with the community.
Arable Adviser of the Year
Alison Cross, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Hampshire
Allison works with more than 50 farmers in southern England, offering support on countryside stewardship, habitat and species surveys and much more.
Ben Giles, Milton Road, Cambridge
As well as giving advice to Bayer customers, Ben is also involved in directing local trials to answer key grower questions.
William Tongue, Kettering, Northamptonshire
A business consultant for Berrys, with some 55 farmer clients, William is also involved in his family’s farming business.
Arable Farmer of the Year
Scott Campbell, Kirkton Farm, Aberdeenshire
Scott manages 402ha across three farms. Crops include spring barley, winter barley, oilseed rape and winter wheat, with 20ha rented out for potatoes.
David Dandie, Learielaw Farm, West Lothian
David runs a combination of owned and contract farmed land over 1,200ha, with a five-year rotation of winter wheat, oilseed rape and winter barley.
David Fuller-Shapcott, Kelso, Roxburghshire
Focusing on soil health, the family business covers 383ha of cropping including oilseed rape, winter wheat, spring oats, spring barley and winter barley.
Beef Farmer of the Year
James Dixon, Kendal, Cumbria
Fourth-generation farmer James made the switch from dairy to beef 15 years ago and now runs 220 spring-calving Stabilisers – including the number one profit-indexed cow in the country.
Niall Jeffrey, Dunbar East Lothian
The Jeffrey family run a closed herd of 250 Aberdeen Angus sucklers with a keen eye on overheads. The tough, home-bred cows are outwintered until mid-January.
Michael and Ian Sturmer, Sturmer Farms, East Sussex
Michael and Ian, who finish 90 animals a week, have ambitious plans to improve beef eating quality and traceability.
Contractor of the Year
Neil Fell, Brancepeth, Durham
At the heart of Neil’s nationwide mobile sheep dipping service is an innovative home-built hydraulic cage dipping unit.
Allan WJ Wilson, Fearn, Ross-shire
The Wilson contracting outfit provides arable, grassland and drainage services that use the latest machinery technology to deliver a top-drawer package.
Dairy Farmer the Year
Becci Berry, Brimstone Farm, Wiltshire
Businesswoman Becci taught herself to farm and now runs a large-scale mixed enterprise in an ecologically responsible way with an A2 dairy herd at its core.
Will Frost, Childhay Manor, Dorset
Genomics help identify the best milking genes in Will’s 2,500-goat herd, raising yields from 850 litres a goat to 1,200 litres.
Gary and Jess Yeomans, Pant Farm, Abergavenny
Despite no experience of goats, Gary and Jess have established a herd of 600 and supply milk to a local creamery, where Gary chairs the farmer supply group.
Diversification of the Year
Emma Boyles, The Little Grey Sheep, Hampshire
From marginal profits with Gotland sheep, Emma branched into selective breeding to secure a sustainable future with unique yarn from the farm’s Stein Fine Wool flock.
Michael Churches, Glastonbury Weddings & Events Venue, Somerset
A Grade II listed, unused church restored to its former glory is now being used as a wedding and events venue to complement the farming enterprise and bring extra jobs to the community.
Matthew Havers, Peck Drinks, Suffolk
Poultry farmer Matthew has created an innovative range of non-dairy protein drinks using whites from second-grade eggs, which are often treated as waste
Farm Manager of the Year
Rob Fox, Squab Hall Farm, Warwickshire
In a drive for greater efficiency, Rob set up an arable joint venture with two other farms. He has also improved poorer land performance and engaged widely with others to share knowledge.
John Haynes, Kingstons Farm, Essex
Managing cereals, sugar beet and soya beans across six farm sites to exacting standards provides plenty of challenges for John, who also runs a busy contracting and drainage business.
Andrew Robinson, Heathcote Farms, Bedfordshire
Andrew has improved output by adopting new technology, running independent trials and delivering what local markets want. He also runs a green waste compost enterprise.
Grassland Manager of the Year
Roger and Hilary Bell, Springmount Farm, Ballymena
Roger and Hilary are finishing lambs off grass by improving soil and grass quality. They have also planted 2,000m of hedges.
Dan Burdett, Cockhaise Farm, West Sussex
Dan has increased grass production from 5t/ha to over 12t/ha in the past five years by using herbal leys. No mean feat for an organic, autumn-calving dairy unit.
Charley and Andrea Walker, Barnside Farm, Scottish Borders
Setting up a rotational grazing system on their 254ha upland beef and sheep farm has seen Charley and Andrea increase stocking rates by 23% and slash costs of production.
Livestock Adviser of the Year
Trevor Alcorn, College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise, County Tyrone
Dairying development adviser Trevor applies passion, local knowledge and understanding to help look after 80 farm businesses across Tyrone and Fermanagh.
Emily Gascoigne, Synergy Farm Health, Evershot, Dorset
Specialist sheep vet and consultant Emily works with lowland flocks, focusing on responsible use of medicines and preventative veterinary services.
Charles Mayson, CXCS, Hereford
Charles guides farmers through the inspections process – a job many detest
– ensuring they are regulation-compliant and taking care of all paperwork.
Mixed Farmer of the Year
James Turner, Aikbank Farm, Cumbria
With an emphasis on conservation and wildlife management across his dairy, sheep and arable enterprises, James has transformed the farm in the past 30 years.
Martin Evans Group, Oswestry, Shropshire
Starting on a 24ha council holding in 1990, Martin Evans has continually expanded so that his dairy, poultry and contracting operations support both of his sons.
Will and Simon Case, Plumpton Cottage Farm, Cumbria
By adding both a dairy and poultry enterprise to the existing 303ha family farm, Will and Simon have created a more sustainable business that is better able to withstand volatility and doesn’t need to rely on subsidies.
Pig Farmer of the Year
Ian Baker, North Farm Livestock, Norfolk
Ian’s high-welfare outdoor breeding and finishing operation has 3,200 sows across three sites. Performance is comparable to that of indoor herds.
Lee Chafer, GLC Farms, Lincolnshire
With just £10,000, industry newcomer Lee established a 300-sow farrow-to-finish unit that has minimal staffing requirements.
Gary Young, Castlederg, County Tyrone
Significant investment over the past seven years has seen Gary establish a high output breeding herd of 650 sows, taking all pigs through to finish. He uses cutting edge technology to monitor and continuously improve pig performance.
Poultry Farmer of the Year
Susie Macmillan, The Mac’s Farm, East Sussex
The Mac’s Farm is home to 18,000 organic layers housed in three sheds, with an emphasis on bird health and welfare. Eggs are sold locally and to wholesale.
Nigel and Sue Smith, Stonecote Farm, North Yorkshire
Nigel and Sue have raised productivity and cut mortality among their 16,000 Lohmann layers, which supply Noble Foods, while running the farm with a keen eye on environmental protection.
Sheep Farmer of the Year
Rhys Edwards, Hendre Ifan Goch Farm, Bridgend
A family farm lambing 600 ewe inside on a total-mixed ration system. Rhys has switched from being a store lamb producer to sending everything to slaughter.
Richard Evans, Stonehouse Farm, Norfolk
Richard has grown a 2,000-ewe operation across stewardship grassland. A herd of 100 Stabiliser cattle aid pasture management and parasite control and 4,000 store lambs are finished on local arable farms.
James Logan, Pirntaton, Galashiels
A focus on the pedigree world of Angus bulls and Blackface tups has been ditched for commercial, low-cost farming at Pirntaton, which currently runs 1,900 ewes, 120 suckler cows and 200 breeding hinds.
Young Farmer of the Year
Sam Bailey, Green Lane Farm, Staffordshire
Sam became the youngest ever tenant on Staffordshire County Council’s estate in 2018, taking on a 220-acre dairy farm. He milks a herd of 140 cows and lambs 250 breeding ewes.
Alex Saunders, Cranley Hall, Suffolk
Pig farmer Alex has built and filled two units on leased land, and plans to add a goatmeat enterprise and a suckler herd.
Jonathan Sloss, Cookstown, Northern Ireland
Jonathan runs 100 cows and grows 200 acres of crops on his family holding. Since losing his father in a farm accident, he has championed the improvement of health, safety and efficiency.