Farmers Weekly Awards categories

The Farmers Weekly Awards are by far the biggest and most prestigious awards in UK farming. But we never rest on our laurels. Every year we review our award categories to ensure they better reflect the range of achievements that deserve recognition in the rapidly-changing world of agriculture. This year the Farmers Weekly Awards have reintroduced the Ag Student category to ensure we provide a platform for recognising and rewarding the whole farming industry.

Ag Student of the Year (new for 2020)

This award is open to everyone studying an agricultural related degree, NVQ or BTEC course at a British university or college. The individual can be in any year of their course, but must be in full-time or part-time college/university education on 30 April 2020. The judges will be looking for individuals who are bursting with talent, achieving great results, showing leadership and having a positive influence on their college, community or home farm if appropriate. Entries can come directly from individuals or from colleges/universities nominating students.

Arable Adviser of the Year

Dynamic, successful adviser providing your farming clients with invaluable advice. This category is open to any farming adviser – from business consultant to arable adviser. You will be carving out a profitable future for your clients and your expertise could be in all fields affecting farmers, including business, marketing, new technologies, product recommendations, government policy and legal issues.

Arable Farmer of the Year

The awarded arable business is likely to be flexible, collaborative and innovative to increase productivity and profits, despite unpredictable, weather, regulation and market volatility. This will be someone who is harnessing and protecting the land’s natural resources to create a truly sustainable arable business in the face of ever-increasing market and environmental challenges.

Beef Farmer of the Year

Successful beef farmer with a vision for the future to join the growing band of Farmers Weekly Award winners championing the British farming industry. The winner of this category will be producing high-quality cattle to meet the ever-increasing consumer and environmental demands.

Contractor of the Year

The winning contractor will be someone who is regarded as an essential part of their farming customers’ businesses. They will be market-focused, providing a reliable, efficient, punctual and above all, cost-effective service to farmers either nationally or regionally.

Dairy Farmer of the Year

Innovative technical skills, cost management and seeking value where possible will be at the heart of this farmer in a hard-pressed dairy sector. The winner will exemplify all the skills needed to deliver a profitable and sustainable dairy business in the face of challenging market conditions.

Diversification Farmer of the Year

This category is seeking those who are adding value to the core farm business. This could be through a non-food business (such as caravan parks, turf and wildflowers) or food business (such as farm shops, cheese-making and food box schemes). The key criteria is showing how the diversification is helping to support and deliver a sustainable farm business.

Grassland Manager of the Year

Grass is the UK’s most valuable crop. This award goes to the farmer who makes the very best use of their grassland, delivering the best possible nutritional benefit to their livestock. The judges will be looking at how the farmer maintains soil quality, manages seeding, monitors grass growth, controls pests and manages grazing and cutting.

Livestock Adviser

Dynamic, successful adviser providing your livestock farming clients with invaluable advice. This category is open to any farming adviser – from business consultant to livestock specialist or vet – who advises livestock farmers. The judges are looking for an adviser who makes a demonstrable difference to their customers’ operations. Your expertise could be in all fields affecting livestock farmers including animal health and husbandry, business, marketing, new technologies, product recommendations, government policy and legal issues.

Farm Manager of the Year

The winning farm manager will be running a successful livestock, arable or mixed farming business. This will be someone who, as principal decision-maker, can demonstrate a significant impact on the business – for example through efficiency improvements, restructuring, collaboration or adding value. The judges will be looking for evidence of strong business acumen, excellent staff management and outstanding leadership.

Mixed Farmer of the Year

This category is for farmers and farming businesses who are running a mixed range of complimentary enterprises such as beef, arable and sheep or dairy and arable. No single farm sector will be dominant, but there might be two or three that are equally weighted. The judges will be looking for achievements and success in quality, productivity and profitability in each of the farming sectors – and how they work together to create one sustainable farming business.

Pig Farmer of the Year

Recognising the innovation and commitment of pig producers is more important than ever in the current financial climate. The winner of this award will be a pig producer who can demonstrate real change in the business in recent years. The judges will be looking for imaginative approaches to developing the enterprise in terms of production standards, profitability and sustainability.

Poultry Farmer of the Year

Successful egg, turkey, goose, duck or chicken meat producer demonstrating excellence in production, marketing and welfare. Join the growing band of finalists and winners – men and women championing best practice and flying the flag for the British farming industry.

Sheep Farmer of the Year

Successful sheep producer demonstrating excellence in production, stockmanship and management. The winning sheep farmer will need to demonstrate their achievements in the past few years to deliver a business that is profitable and sustainable.

Young Farmer of the Year

30 years or under and making a success of managing a distinct area of the family farming business – or even running your own business? The winner of this category will be making a big impact on the farming business they are involved in and demonstrating qualities that mark them out as a future leader and innovator.

Other categories

Farming Champion

Farmers Weekly is looking for individuals who have been selfless in their efforts to strengthen British farming in the last 12 months. This could be someone who has campaigned for justice for British farmers, promoted the value of farming to the public or developed business models that has a benefit to British farmers rather than simply to his or her own farm.

Lifetime Achievement

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to a person who has made a unique and special contribution, over a prolonged period to farming. Previous winners of the award include: Caroline Drummond, Chief executive of Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF), David Richardson, farmer and journalist; and Professor John Nix, author of the Farm Management Pocketbook. We welcome nominations from Farmers Weekly readers.

Farmer of the Year

The Farmers Weekly Farmer of the Year is the winner of winners – the most prestigious accolade in the Farmers Weekly Awards. Chosen from the winners of all of the individual categories, the Farmer of the Year award is given to the farmer who, out of all these winners, has impressed the Farmers Weekly judging panel the most – a role model for British farmers.

Farm Innovator of the Year

The best farmers are constantly looking for new ways to improve the performance of their farm. The winner of this award, chosen from amongst the finalists of the other award categories, is the farmer judged to have displayed the most innovation in addressing key challenges on their farm. That could involve innovative use of technology, the application of new techniques or a novel business arrangement.

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Environmental Champion of the Year (new for 2020)

Farming is more than just a business. Farmers are the custodians of the land and always aim to leave it in a better state than they found it. The winner of this award, chosen from amongst the finalists of the other award categories, is the farmer judged to have made the most positive impact on the wider environment and the sustainability of their farming activities. That could involve improving soil quality, reducing the negative effects of pesticides, increasing biodiversity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving water management or any other environmental improvements.

Farmers Weekly Awards

Farmers Weekly Awards celebrate the very best of British farming by recognising and rewarding innovation, hard work and passion for agriculture.

The Farmers Weekly Awards night has become a highlight in the farming social calendar. The 2020 awards will take place on 17 March 2021 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane in London.

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