The winners of the 2016 British Farming Awards have been revealed at a fantastic awards ceremony, held at Chateau Impney Hotel, Droitwich Spa, last night.
More than 650 farmers and industry professionals attended the event, which showcased the innovation and achievements of grass roots farmers across the agricultural industry.
Organised by Briefing Media, parent company of Farmers Guardian, Dairy Farmer and Arable Farming, the awards welcomed a record number of entries from across all farming’s core sectors.
Kicking off the evening was the presentation of Outstanding Contribution to British Agriculture award, given to Lord Don Curry.
The linchpin of agriculture received rapturous applause from the audience for his achievements and influence on British agriculture and politics, which has spanned a 65-year career.
Hailing from Kirkharle, Northumberland, and the son of farmer, Don has steadfastly worked his way up from a grass roots tenant farmer to a much respected, influential figure within agriculture thanks to a host of key achievements.
Lord Curry was awarded a CBE for his services to agriculture in 1997, a knighthood in 2001 and ennobled in 2011.
Speaking to the British Farming Awards shortly after receiving his award:
He says: “It is a huge honour to have been presented with this award by the British Farming Awards. I feel very humbled, and blessed, to have had the privilege of being involved in so many aspects of the farming and food sector over the past 30 years, or so.
“I have made so many wonderful friends over that time. I was born into farming, and grew up on a family farm in Northumberland, so to be chosen by one’s peers for this award is very special indeed. I shall treasure it for the rest on my life.”
The winner of this year’s Farmers Guardian Farming Hero award was The Cumbria Flood Farm Action Group.
Representatives from the Arc Addington Fund, Cumbrian Chaplaincy, Cumbria Farmer Network, CLA, Farming Community Network, Federation for Common Land, Cumbria Commoners Association, Forage Aid, NFU and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I) collected the award.
Their support included financial assistance, assessing the damage, lobbying for the Farming Recovery Fund and mobilising tonnes of forage to be delivered to the worst hit areas in the wake of Storm Desmond, which left huge parts of Cumbria ravaged last December.
Georgina Lamb, regional officer for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I) and who spearheaded the campaign, says: “Storm Desmond and subsequent flooding lead to dark times for many farmers, some of whom are still feeling the effects.
“CFFAG tried to make life a little easier for those hit by directing them to help available and assisting them in accessing support. By pooling all our resources and knowledge, the group was a one stop shop for many.”
For more information on all the winners and finalists visit www.britishfarmingawards.co.uk
2016 British Farming Award winners:
Outstanding Contribution to British Agriculture, sponsored by NSF Agriculture
Lord Don Curry
Beef Innovator of the Year
Gold: Ben and Tori Stanley, Tori & Ben’s Farm, Derbyshire
Silver: James Small, Warren Farm, Somerset
Dairy Innovator of the Year, sponsored by The Original Muck Boot Company
Gold: F.R. & V.A. Sims, Robert Sims, Cheshire
Silver: Sam Moorhouse, Hesper Skyr, North Yorkshire
Sheep Innovator of the Year award, sponsored by Rancher Livestock Equipment and Scotpen Sheep Handling Systems
Gold: Ben Anthony and Diana Fairclough, Anthony and Fairclough, Carmarthenshire
Silver: Bryan & Liz Griffiths, B.J. and D.E. Griffiths, Southcott Farm, Devon
Arable Innovator of the Year, sponsored by Adama
Gold: Jonathan Boaz, J.F. Boaz & Sons, Worcestershire
Silver: David Walston, Thriplow Farms, Cambridgeshire
Machinery Innovator of the Year
Gold: James Geoghegan, Agriknives, Co Westmeath
Silver: Pauric Fay, Trakjak Ltd, Co Cavan
Diversification Innovator of the Year (small to medium), sponsored by Spanner RE2
Gold: Joanna and Andrew Reynolds, Church Farm Brewery, Warwickshire
Silver: Andrew & Ruth Davies, Cwmfarm Charcuterie Products, Swansea
Diversification Innovator of the Year (large), sponsored by Spanner RE2
Gold: John Weston, Droitwich Spa Marina Ltd, Worcestershire
Silver: The Team at Bluebell Dairy, Brunswood Farm, Derbyshire
Digital Innovator of the Year, sponsored by National Farm Research Unit
Gold: Jonathan Fell, The Ice Cream Farm, Cheshire
Silver: Tom Hawthorne, Flawborough Farms, Nottinghamshire
Farming Partnership of the Year
Gold: Meirion Jones & Iwan Poulton, Carmarthenshire
Silver: South Devon Organic Producers Co-Operative, South Devon Organic Producers Ltd, Devon
Agricultural Student of the Year, sponsored by Kubota
Gold: Nicola Blowey, Harper Adams University
Silver: Laura Davidson, Newcastle University
New Entrant: Against the Odds of the Year, sponsored by NFU
Gold: Michael and Laura Trayte, M&L Dairying Ltd, Staffordshire
Silver: Paul and Madeleine Crawley, Courthill Farm, West Sussex
Family Farming Business of the Year, sponsored by JG Animal Health
Gold: The Gay Family, Newton Farm Foods Ltd, Somerset
Silver: The Nixon Family, W. Nixon & Sons Ltd, Lancashire
Farmers Guardian Farming Hero, sponsored by Asset Finance Partners
Cumbria Flood Action Group
Contractor Innovation of the Year
Gold: Matt Redman, Matt Redman Agriculture, Bedfordshire
Silver: Oliver Arnold, Spring Farm Partnership, Norfolk