The winners of the 2017 British Farming Awards have been revealed at a fantastic awards ceremony, held at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham, and supported by Morrisons.
More than 700 farmers and industry professionals attended the event, which showcased the innovation and achievements of 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.
Emma Penny, group head of content for Briefing Media, said: “The 14 awards recognise the innovation and determination that is present in today’s ever changing and challenging farming industry.
“I would like to thank everyone who entered and congratulate all the finalists in what has been a fantastic and inspiring eight-month campaign to find our 2017 winners.”
Andrew Thornber, Morrisons Manufacturing Managing Director, said: "Morrisons is pleased to sponsor the 2017 British Farming Awards because it recognises the best of British farming.
"This matters to Morrisons because we are the biggest single customer for British farmers, dealing directly with more than 3,000 livestock farmers and more than 200 growers."
Outstanding Contribution to British Agriculture
Kicking off the evening was the presentation for the Outstanding Contribution to British Agriculture award, given to Caroline Drummond MBE.
The leader of Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF) received rapturous applause from the audience for her achievements and influence on British agriculture, which has spanned 36 years.
As Chief Executive, Caroline has made farming in the UK more environmentally responsible for the future by combining modern farming with conservation and engaging with the public out on the farm.
She has held numerous positions on farming-related councils and plays a central role in changing the face of Britain’s farming policy. She was awarded an MBE for her services to agriculture in 2009.
Speaking to the British Farming Awards shortly after receiving her award:
Caroline, who is married to a dairy farmer and lives in Cornwall, said: “I am extremely humbled, proud and excited to be receiving this award for Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture.
“But it is really LEAF and all our farmers, staff, board and supporters that this award is for, so it is to them I salute and give recognition to for all their great work and achievements.
"I am indeed flattered as this is such a prestigious award, I am very lucky my role at LEAF allows me to have made so many friends across the industry and I take great pride in the values we stand for.
“This award is so very special and is an inspiration to me to work harder and continue our great work. I will treasure this with great pride.”
Farmers Guardian Farming Hero
The winner of this year’s Farmers Guardian Farming Hero award was the Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs ‘Are Ewe Okay?’ campaign.
Following research that nine out of ten young people will suffer from mental health issues, the rural organisation launched a campaign to encourage conversations between their 3,500 members and break the stigma so often surrounding mental wellbeing.
What was originally a 12-month campaign is now a long-term project with a dedicated social media day promoting health triggers, recognising the signs and how to seek help if someone is suffering.
A go-to area on the website featuring a host of information has proved popular and members have also been busy fundraising for their partner, The Scottish Association for Mental Health, and to keep the campaign going.
Campaign Manager Joanna Foubister said: “It is a phenomenal honour to win the Farmers Guardian Farming Hero award and to be recognised for the ‘Are Ewe Okay?’ campaign.
“We know one in four people in Scotland will suffer from poor mental health so we predominately launched the campaign for our members.
“But, through this fantastic opportunity and exposure from this award, it will enable us to reach a greater audience and ultimately spreading awareness of the cause is one of our key objectives. It is truly appreciated.”
2017 British Farming Awards winners
Gold: Joe and Ed Towers, Lune Valley Dairy, Lancashire
Silver: Paul Redmore, Neston Home Farm, Wiltshire
Gold: Dan Pritchard, Gower Salt Marsh Lamb, South Wales
Silver: Lesley Prior, Bowmont Merino, Devon
Gold: Bryan Wilson, Glenarm Castle Estate, Co Antrim
Silver: Charlotte Shipley, Field and Forage, East Yorkshire
Gold: Andrew Francis, Elveden Farms Ltd, Norfolk
Silver: Will Atkinson, Beck Hill Farm, North Yorkshire
Gold: Graeme Parker Hoof Trimming, Dumfries and Galloway
Silver: Mornios Contract Herdcare, Leicestershire
Gold: Frank Morphet, Swing Over Feed Cover, Cumbria
Silver: Philip Bramley, Combo-Plus Seed Drill, North Yorkshire
Gold: Will Evans, Lower Eyton Farm, North Wales
Silver: Cannon Hall Farm, South Yorkshire
Gold: Sam Moorhouse, Hesper Farm Skyr, North Yorkshire
Silver: The Taylor family, Low Howgill Deli and Butchers, Cumbria
Gold: Adam and Lisa-Jayne, Frasers, Kent
Silver: Adam Palmer, Breckenholme Trading Company, North Yorkshire
Gold: Matthew Jackson, Penllech Bach, Gwynedd
Silver: Wayne Sanders and Elliot Prettejohn, W.E. Organic Dairies, Devon
Gold: The Fairburn Family, L. J. Fairburn & Son, Lincolnshire
Silver: The Palmer family, Breckenholme Trading Company, North Yorkshire
Gold: Benjamin Theaker, Nottingham Trent University
Silver: Georgina Gater-Moore, Harper Adams University
Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs ‘Are Ewe Okay?’ campaign