Meet the Farmers Weekly Awards judges

Countryside Farmer

Category judges: Melinda Appleby, Farmers Weekly‘s Isabel Davies and last year’s winners Brian and Patrick Barker

“I want to see farmers, not just taking the financial opportunity of agri-environment schemes, but using them to grow the whole environmental value of their land, respecting their stewardship of our essential resources such as soil and water. I will be looking for community-minded farmers who innovate and maybe even teach the conservationists a few things.”

Melinda Appleby is an independent countryside and environmental adviser. She sits on LEAF’s strategic advisory committee, chairs the Policy Committee of CPRE, and was a founding member of Natural England.

Farm Manager

Category judges: Adrian Cannon, Farmers Weekly‘s Ian Ashbridge and last year’s winner Alastair Brooks

“Farm management is a diverse business, but core ideals and clear vision are required to be successful. To be the best, the individual needs to have strong principles and be in control of the business. I will be examining the management systems in place to achieve profitability. Key skills such as risk management, project planning, staffing, compliance with legislation and an eye for attention to detail will be sought.”

Adrian Cannon is a farm business consultant with Strutt & Parker.

Green Energy Farmer

Category judges: Richard Crowhurst, Farmers Weekly‘s Paul Spackman and last year’s winner Stephen Temple

“This category attracts a diverse range of entries, that any enterprise could win. The things that unite all the entrants are a passion for what they are doing and a dogged determination to succeed. The size or type of the enterprise is irrelevant – it’s about having both a business and environmental case for ideas and following them through to delivery.”

Richard Crowhurst is managing director, Enagri.

Dairy Farmer

Category judges: John Allen, Farmers Weekly‘s Aly Balsom andlast year’s winner Neil Baker

“Regardless of system, we will be looking for fantastic animal health, welfare and husbandry as being the bedrock of the business. We know how important that is for our customers. In addition, we will want to see very good technical and financial results, plus a spark that shows the energy and enthusiasm of that person for their business.”

John Allen is managing partner of Kite Consulting.

Beef Farmer

Category judges: Clive Brown, Farmers Weekly‘s Sarah Trickett and last year’s winner John Hoskin

“Vision and having a system or a plan in place that aims to meet the future challenges of the beef sector is what I will be looking for in this year’s winner. They must be aware of where they are in terms of cost and physical performance, with breeding and feeding also areas of interest. The winner must also demonstrate some knowledge of meeting changing market demands.”

Clive Brown is senior regional manager for EBLEX.

Arable Farmer

Category judges: Keith Preston, Farmers Weekly‘s Richard Allison and last year’s winner John Goodchild

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

Keith Preston is director of Savills Agribusiness.

Local Food Farmer

Category judges: Colin Dennis CBE, Farmers Weekly‘s Suzie Horne and last year’s winners, Hilary and Peter Cochran

“The winner of this award will be a passionate advocate for local food, valuing integrity of the produce extremely highly. I will be looking for people with sound business sense and a clear vision. They will be adapting successfully and profitably to challenging new conditions with the help of enthusiastic and well-motivated employees who share that vision.”

Colin Dennis is chair of the English Food & Drink Alliance, representing regional food groups.

Poultry Farmer

Category judges: Justin Emery, Poultry World‘s Philip Clarke and last year’s winners Elwyn and Gareth Griffiths

“My choice of producer will be willing to go that extra mile for their birds. Old site or new, big or small, they will have enthusiasm, clear focus, up-to-date knowledge and the wisdom to apply them for their business success and support of their industry. I would want to stay behind and work with them – if they’d have me.”

Justin Emery is a poultry and ventilation consultant for ADAS Sustainable Livestock Group.

Young Farmer

Category judges: Paul Davies, Farmers Weekly‘s Caroline Stocks and last year’s winner Andrew Rees

“I would be among the first to recognise and celebrate the considerable amount of talent in young people in our industry. I have little doubt personally that, given suitable help and support, our young farmers can be among the most competitive and best in the world. Past winners have gone on to great things – and, in some cases, have quite rightly become household names in our industry.”

Paul Davies is vice principal of the Royal Agricultural College.

Sheep Farmer

Category judges: Kate Phillips, Farmers Weekly‘s Jane King and last year’s winners William and Carole Ingram

“I’m looking for finalists with technical skills, sustainable sheep production and consistent performance. We want to see examples of businesses that have all these attributes and are also really moving forward.”

Kate Phillips is a livestock consultant for ADAS.

Diversification Farmer

Category judges: Peter Prag, Farmers Weekly‘s Tim Relf and last year’s winners David and Jayne Newman

“I’m looking for a venture that is appropriate to its rural location and one that complements the existing farm business. The enterprise may be unique or a tried-and-tested one – and either well-established or in its early stages. It would be a bonus if, in addition to providing a new opportunity for the farmer, it offers a service or facility to the community or to a wider range of customers.”

Peter Prag is a consultant land agent and senior visiting fellow in the School of Real Estate and Planning at the University of Reading.


Category judges: George Perrott, Farmers Weekly‘s Emily Padfield and last year’s winners Harry and Lynn Wilson

“What I want to see from a contractor is that they do what the customer needs when they want it done. A proven track record, high standards of work from the most experienced to the newest operator and an awareness of their target market are also crucial qualities, as is a clear vision for the future of their businesses.”

George Perrott is farm manager for the Clinton Devon Farms partnership.


Category judges: Meurig Raymond, Farmers Weekly‘s David Cousins and last year’s winner John Adams

“A good farmworker obviously needs to be dedicated, hard-working and highly motivated. But I will also be looking at how they use modern, sophisticated equipment and the extent to which they are able to grasp new innovations. I will also be looking for a good working relationship with the farmer and rest of the team.”

Meurig Raymond is deputy president of the NFU.

Farm Adviser

Category judges: Roger Mercer, Farmers Weekly‘s Debbie Beaton and last year’s winner Mark Burnell

“I will be looking for someone who is genuinely delivering high value, innovation and intelligence to their farming clients. What, and how, they have done this to influence and inspire positive changes to their clients’ farm businesses will be critical.”

Roger Mercer is a farmer and was 2008 Farmers Weekly Diversification Farmer of the Year.

Pig Farmer

Category judges: Zoe Davies, Farmers Weekly‘s Debbie Beaton and last year’s winner Andrew McCrea

“I am looking for someone who is not simply running a fantastic business, but who understands and inspires their staff and customers – someone who is thinking creatively and driving forward innovations in productivity, welfare and customer focus.”

Dr Zoe Davies is National Pig Association regions manager.

2011 Farmers Weekly Awards

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