Search is on for Young Sussex Farmer of the Year

Young farmers in Sussex are being invited to put themselves forward for the Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2020, to help showcase all that is best about farming and food production in the county.

The Young Sussex Farmer of the Year category is sponsored by Natural Partnerships Community Interest Company, supported by Farmers Weekly, and the organisers are seeking outstanding farmers of 35 years or younger.

See also: Young dairy farmer honoured at Sussex Food and Drink Awards

Farmers Weekly executive editor Philip Clarke, who is also on the judging panel, said: “We are looking for young Sussex farmers who demonstrate leadership, vision and innovation, with the creativity and desire to succeed and grow their businesses.

“They might be finding innovative ways to bring produce to market, or making a significant contribution to the economic and sustainable management of the countryside, or introducing creative new processes and efficiencies into their workplace.”

Kate Lywood, 2019 Sussex Young Farmer of the Year

Kate Lywood, 2019 Sussex Young Farmer of the Year

Leadership qualities

Last year’s Young Sussex Farmer of the Year was Kate Lywood, who stood out for her strong leadership qualities.

After graduating with a degree in animal science from Harper Adams University in 2011, Kate spent a year working on a dairy farm in New Zealand, before returning home to take on the tenancy as the third generation of her family to farm at Marshalls Farm in Kirdford, West Sussex.

Now farm director and dairy herd manager, 31-year-old Kate strives to achieve exceptional levels of animal welfare within an efficient working environment.

Sustainability, the environment and education play a vital role in her vision for the future of Marshalls Farm.

Hilary Knight from Natural Partnerships CIC said: “We had some outstanding young Sussex farmers who entered last year, and we hope their stories inspire others to enter for 2020.

“It is vital that these awards encourage and support the next generation of farmers, and our aim is to give them the opportunity to be recognised for the quality of what they are producing, entrepreneurial thinking and the positive impact they have in shaping the rural landscape in Sussex.”

Enter now

The closing date to enter the Young Sussex Farmer of the Year competition is 3 January 2020. You can enter the competition here, or visit

The three finalists will be invited to attend a Bafta-style ceremony on 29 April 2020 at the Amex Stadium, Brighton, where the winner will be revealed.

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