2021 Farmers Weekly Awards judges

The awards are judged by a panel of industry leaders and experts in agriculture. The Farmers Weekly Awards also invites previous winners to judge the new crop of entries and nominees.

The judging process is a two-stage process including pre-scoring to determine our shortlist and judges visits on farm where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide the winning entries.

Ag Student of the Year

Ed Henderson
News reporter

Grace Welling
Ag Student of the Year 2020

Alex Dunn
Independent judge

Judges tip:
“To be selected for the shortlist and for a chance to be declared the winner, make sure that those who know you best help you to shine. References from your tutors, employers and those with whom you have been volunteering, provide us with a real insight to your attributes, supporting what you have told us in your application.”

Alex Dunn
Independent judge

Arable Adviser of the Year

Philip Case
News editor

Mark Dewes
Arable Adviser of the Year 2020

John Barrett
Director for Sentry Norfolk and Suffolk

Judges tip:
“With the speed of change that is happening in the industry, a top arable adviser needs to be someone who is forward-thinking with a good handle on the future direction of travel of the industry.

“There is usually one person engaging the adviser, but in reality, their decisions affect a whole group of stakeholders. They need to have the interests of these stakeholders of in mind when making decisions.”

John Barrett
Business manager
Sentry Norfolk and Suffolk

Arable Farmer of the Year

Richard Allison
Arable editor

Robert Price
Arable Farmer of the Year 2020

Damion McAuley
Independent Agronomist

Beef Farmer of the Year

Michael Priestley
Livestock reporter

James Wraight
Beef Farmer of the Year 2020

Ian Cairns
Independent specialist
5Agri farm consultancy group

Judges tip:
I’m looking forward to meeting inspirational beef farmers who run technically efficient and profitable systems, making the most of the resources they have.

Ian Cairns
Independent specialist
5Agri farm consultancy group

Contractor of the Year

Oliver Mark
Machinery editor

Tim Russon
Contractor of the Year 2020

Jill Hewitt
Owner Springtime Consultancy

Judges tip:
I am looking for a contractor who will inspire others. They will have a reputation that precedes them, based on quality of service, professionalism and great business management. They will take pride in the service they provide and will be looking ahead to tackle new industry challenges head on.

Jill Hewitt
Owner
Springtime Consultancy

Dairy Farmer of the Year

Rhian Price
Livestock editor

Robert Mallett
Dairy Farmer of the Year 2020

Andy Dodd
Dairy business consultant
The Farm Consultancy Group

Judges tip:
I’m looking for a dairy farm that has a handle on their main costs, is striving for efficiency but is achieving the highest level of herd health and welfare from new born calves through to mature milk cows.

Andy Dodd
Dairy business consultant
The Farm Consultancy Group

Diversification Farmer of the Year

Edd Mowbray
Machinery reporter

Alice Maltby and Tom and Henry Wilson
Diversification Farmers of the Year 2020

Oliver McEntyre
National strategy director
Barclays Agriculture

Judges tip:
I’m looking for a farm with a diversification project that compliments the main business, includes an element of succession planning, involves the next generation of entrepreneurial farmers and overall improves the long term-financial sustainability of the total farming enterprise.

Oliver McEntyre
National strategy director
Barclays Agriculture

Farm Manager of the Year

Suzie Horne
Business editor

Peter Eccles
Farm Manager of the Year 2020

Andrew Robinson
2019 Farm Manager of the Year

Judges tip:
A good financial understanding, along with a strong physical and technical performance, combined with a robust health and safety policy is what I shall be looking for in a finalist.

Andrew Robinson
Independent judge

Grassland Manager of the Year

Judith Tooth
Livestock reporter

Sam Chesney
Grassland Manager of the Year 2020

Gareth Davies
Independent Grassland consultant and Nuffield scholar
Gareth Grassland Ltd

Judges tip:
I will be looking for someone who has a clear understanding of the role of grazing within their system, who understands all aspects of how to grow that grass and has a clear vision of how they hope their grazing management can improve.

Gareth Davies
Independent judge

Livestock Adviser of the Year

David Jones
Deputy arable editor

Julian Allen
Livestock Adviser of the Year 2020

John Royle
NFU chief livestock adviser

Judges tip:
I will be looking for an adviser that has a genuine interest in the success of the farming businesses they advise. Good advisers connect with their clients, and I want to see them adding real value. Helping businesses to adapt and invest in these uncertain times, is and will remain, critically important if we are to secure profitable livestock businesses.

John Royle
NFU chief livestock adviser

Mixed Farmer of the Year

Emma Gillbard
Arable reporter

Esther and Henry Rudge
Mixed Farmer of the Year 2020

Matthew Curry
Managing Director
North East Grains Limited

Judges tip:
I will be looking for mixed farm businesses who have an in-depth understanding of their cost of production and profitability. They will have a number of enterprises which are individually successful and when combined, compliment the overall business model.

Matthew Curry
Managing Director
North East Grains Limited

Pig Farmer of the Year

Sarah Alderton
Livestock journalist

Charlie Thompson
Pig Farmer of the Year 2020

Zoe Davies
Independent judge

Judges tip:
I will be looking for an inspirational pig farmer who is positive about the future, putting heart and soul into their business to achieve improvements in productivity, health, welfare, environment and staff support.

Zoe Davies
Independent judge

Poultry Farmer of the Year

Philip Clarke
Executive editor

Jim and Anne Smillie
Poultry Farmer of the Year 2020

Aimee Mahony
NFU Chief Poultry Adviser

Judges tip:
I will be looking for an inspirational poultry farmer who is enthusiastic, hardworking and displays excellent stockmanship with particular emphasis on bird health and welfare. Someone who demonstrates attention to detail and maintains good production records in order to inform decisions that ensure a profitable business.

Aimee Mahony
Independent judge

Sheep Farmer of the Year

Debbie James
Livestock journalist

Neil and Debbie McGowan
Sheep Farmers of the Year 2020

Liz Genever
Independent sheep and beef consultant

Judges tip:
I am looking for profitable systems that make the best of resources available and add value by innovation and forward thinking. Sheep farming contributes massively to the unbeatable UK landscape so how the farming contributes to the wider environment and community is important, with facts and figures to back up the story.

Liz Genever
Independent sheep and beef consultant

Young Farmer of the Year

Lauren Harris
Deputy business editor

Bertie Newman
Young Farmer of the Year 2020

Cath Crowther
CLA East regional director

Judges tip:
I will be looking for an enthusiastic, forward thinking young farmer who can demonstrate they have a strong business acumen and understanding of the industry. I will be looking for someone who is capable of running a sustainable and profitable farming business and who is keen to identify of future opportunities.

Cath Crowther
CLA East regional director

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