The winners of the 2015 British farming Awards have been revealed at a fantastic awards ceremony, held at Chateau Impney Hotel, Droitwich Spa, this evening (October 15, 2015).
More than 450 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 inaugural presentation of the Outstanding Contribution to British Agriculture award, given to Lord Henry Plumb, who received rapturous applause for his achievements and influence, which has spanned a 76-year farming career.
He said, “I feel I am the luckiest chap on earth. I use the word envy of today’s young farmers. We have moved from brawn to brain and it shows the change in the business of farming and farm workers."
One of the main highlights of the evening was the announcement of the Farmers Guardian Farming Hero, awarded to key people behind the remarkable #StayStrongStu campaign.
Supporters and family of Stuart Ridley, the Northumberland young farmer who tragically died of a brain tumour in July, told the audience of their journey and how the campaign has changed people’s lives.
The campaign, which was widely supported throughout the farming industry and across the world, was rolled out in February this year after Stuart vowed to use his illness to raise awareness and funds to help others who are terminally ill.
Around £250,000 has been raised in just eight months thanks to a mass of fundraising activity from his family and friends, Young Farmers Clubs, Hexham Auction Mart and donations from the general public.
Stuart, who played for Tynedale Rugby Club, also captured the attention of rugby clubs across the country – including the England squad – and was visited by Johnny Wilkinson who donated a signed shirt for the campaign.
The funds will be donated to individuals and various charities including The Brain Tumour Trust and The Wooden Spoon Rugby charity.
A 10-strong group, including Stuart’s parents, went up to the stage to collect the award and were greeted with a standing ovation until they returned to their seats.
Host and Briefing Media Agriculture’s Group Editor, Emma Penny, says: "It was a fantastic evening, with awards going to great farmers, farming families, students, new entrants and businesses. It really is a great celebration of the UK's farming sector.
"It was fantastic to see the outstanding contribution award go to Lord Plumb, and it was very humbling to be able to give the Farmers Guardian Farming Hero Award to everyone involved in the #StayStrongStu campaign."
Please click on the categories below to find out more about our silver awards and winners
Lord Henry Plumb
Gold: Doug Dear, A. S. and E. A. Dear and Son, North Yorkshire
Silver: Robert and Jac Neill, Upper Nisbet Farm, Scottish Borders
Gold: Mark Verity, J.S. K.A. and M.W. Verity, Lancashire
Silver: Adrian Smith, W. L. Smith & Son, Cheshire
Gold: Irene Fowlie, Adziel Farm, Aberdeenshire
Winner: Gareth Owen, Launde Farms, Leicestershire
Gold: Anthony and Lucy and Carroll, Carroll's Heritage Potatoes, Northumberland
Silver: Jake Freestone, Overbury Farms, Gloucestershire
Gold: Andrew Stubbs, Bespoke mobility system for a paralysed farmer, Cheshire
Silver: Emmet Savage, Moocall, Calving Detector System, Dublin
Gold: Stuart Perkins, Castlemead Poultry, Somerset
Silver: Graeme Jarron, Ogilvy Spirits, Angus
Gold: The Nicholson Family, Cannon Hall Farm, South Yorkshire
Silver: John Pitts, The Woodhorn Group, West Sussex
Gold: Shropshire Petals, Shropshire
Silver: Fiona and Robert Park, Cwmcrwth Farm
Gold: Wil Armitage and Peter Dixon-Smith, Leicestershire
Silver: John Henderson of Henderson Farms, North Yorkshire
Gold: Joe Parry, Harper Adams University
Silver: Catherine Bennett, Harper Adams University
Gold: Giles Bristol, G.A. Bristol, Staffordshire
Silver: Sophie Arlott, Lavinton Lamb, Lincolnshire
Gold: The Fielding Family, Pulford Farm Dairies, Lancashire
Silver: The Rodger Family, Knockraich Farm, Glasgow