THE winners of the 2016 British Farming Awards have been revealed at a fantastic awards ceremony, held at Chateau Impney Hotel, Droitwich Spa, this evening (Thursday October 20, 2016).
The #BFA16 team
A full house at the British Farming Awards
Outstanding Contribution to British Agriculture award - Lord Don Curry #BFA16
Farmers Guardian Farming Hero award - The Cumbria Flood Farm Action Group #BFA16
Michael and Laura Trayte : New Entrant award
Will Probert : Mart's the Heart New Auctioneer of the Year
The Tavern, Melton Mowbray Market : Mart's the Heart Auction Cafe of the Year
Meg Elliott : Mart's the Heart Auctioneer of the Year
James Geoghegan : Machinery Innovator of the Year
Meirion Jones & Iwan Poulton : Farming Partnership of the Year
John Weston : Diversification Innovator of the Year (Large)
Jonathan Fell : Digital Innovator of the Year
Matt Redman : Contractor of the Year
Ben and Tori Stanley : Beef Innovator of the Year
Jonathan Boaz : Arable Innovator of the Year
Dancing the night away
Briefing Media group editor Emma Penny hosted the evening
Guest speaker Sally Gunnell
More than 600 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 farming’s core sectors.
Briefing Media group editor Emma Penny, who hosted the evening, said: "The British Farming Awards rewards and celebrates people – farmers, their families and those who work with them – who are prepared to look for innovative solutions and implement them in their businesses.
"Doing something ‘different’ in farming isn’t always easy and there are people prepared to say it won’t possibly work but our finalists here tonight are proof that it can, and does."
The first award of the evening was the presentation of the Outstanding Contribution to British Agriculture award, given to Lord Don Curry, who received rapturous applause for his achievements and influence during his career, which has spanned more than 60 years.
Lord Curry, who was awarded a CBE for his services to agriculture in 1997, a knighthood in 2001 and ennobled in 2011, said: “It is a huge honour to have been presented with this award. 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.
Also collecting their awards, as part of the event for the first time in 2016, were the winners of the Mart’s the Heart Awards (martstheheart.co.uk) which aim to highlight the vital role Auction Marts play in the UK livestock industry.