Yorkshire Post Rural Awards: Every winner from this year's awards ceremony
Here is the full list of the winners:
DAIRY FARM OF THE YEAR
The Hills of Kidfield Farm, Hoylandswaine
James & John Hill have a dairy herd of 150 Holstein Friesian and Jersey cows and farm across 450 acres in two locations at Hoylandswaine and Silkstone.
They have recently invested heavily in robotic milking and improving cow facilities, which has helped improve both herd yield and herd longevity.
They supply milk to Longley Farm at Holmfirth and have gone into milk vending machines. They currently have nine in operation throughout their area in South and West Yorkshire and their milkshakes are much in demand.
CATTLE FARM OF THE YEAR
Clive Rowland of Garrowby Farms, Lord Halifax’s Estate
Clive has built an enviable reputation for the quality of breeding stock from his 200-strong suckler herd which is split between two pedigree Limousin herds, Gunnerfleet and Garrowby, and his commercial herd.
Clive continues to push for quality and believes that in order to keep in the top drawer it is vital to carry on investing in top end bulls, which has also brought about sales of their own quality bulls. He has also increased semen sales. Selling to other breeders is his main focus.
SHEEP FARM OF THE YEAR
Ian & Anna Wilson of Searchlight Farm, Nunthorpe
Ian and Anna have a commercial flock of 575 breeding ewes that Ian performance records. He is utilising several breeds of Texel and Texel-crosses with an impetus towards New Zealand Texels and New Zealand Sufftex by using tups from Easyrams in North Shropshire. He’s after his lambs growing a lot quicker on a grass fed, easy system.
It has been a fantastic year for the couple. Anna had Kerry Hill pedigree supreme champion at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show with a Kerry Hill shearling ewe.
POULTRY FARM OF THE YEAR
Edward Wilkinson of Herb Fed Poultry, Easingwold
Ed came up with the unique idea of utilising his aunt’s herbs from Herbs Unlimited at Sandhutton near Thirsk in his turkeys and then his chicken to create a product that provides poultry with a depth of flavour. He hit the mark with butchers and other retailers.
He and wife Emma, who is in charge of marketing, now sell their turkey and chicken from the Scottish Borders to the south coast. They have come through what was a difficult time during Bird Flu restrictions nationally.
PIG FARM OF THE YEAR
Stephen & Karen Thompson of Moss Valley Fine Meats
Stephen and Karen have a herd of 200 sows and gilts producing an average of 2.35 litters of 15 piglets per year at Povey Farm, Norton where they have developed their own branding of Moss Valley Fine Meats, which focuses on supplying cafés, restaurants and delis. It is a growing market for their operation. They also supply processors Cranswick who sponsored the award.
Their pigs are high health status and benefit from the hybrid vigour brought about by criss-crossing the Landrace and Large White breeds.
ARABLE FARM OF THE YEAR
Richard Bramley of Manor Farm, Kelfield
Richard farms across 500 acres growing milling wheat, malting barley, sugar beet, potatoes, oilseed rape and beans on fertile soil that ranges from silty clay loam to sandy land and claggy clay.
He is a firm believer in looking after soil quality and the planting of cover crops to assist in greater soil health, and the planting of new hedgerows that can act as a carbon sink. He has expressed his own opinions on farmers not missing out on the future benefits of carbon sequestration.
MIXED FARM OF THE YEAR
Dean & Angela Hullah of Tancred Field Farm, Whixley
Dean and Angela farm across 150 acres growing arable crops, vegetables and they have a herd of Lincoln Red cattle which serve their Tancred Farm Shop with mouth-watering beef. They also have pigs on a bed and breakfast basis, plus some goats.
Dean and Angela opened their farm shop, including butchery and café, over a decade ago and are currently in the process of extending due to continued demand. They have recently extended their farm shop building to create a larger café and wedding venue.
RURAL RISING STAR OF THE YEAR
Rowan Simms of Waterfall Farm, Ellingstring
Rowan and husband Tom farm across just 20 acres where Rowan focuses on rare breed pigs that she now trades under the name Masham Pigs. Her work with the Large Black native rare breed brought her national recognition in the rare breed world and she now also has Saddlebacks, plus Wensleydale sheep and goats.
Rowan is currently working with Swinton Estate on providing pork. She also shows her Large Blacks and has had considerable success. She is committed to educating the public about food provenance.
ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
John Fenton of Springwell House, Elmswell
John farms 1400 acres at Elmswell. He is committed to agriculture, the environment and providing education for schools with his own resource centre. He also has a herd of Highland cattle on SSSI chalk grassland for conservation of land.
The farm includes 100 acres of commercial woodland for timber production including willow for cricket bats. John has won several awards for his work with nature and is currently working with improving habitat and wildlife in his chalk stream one of only 210 in the world.
FARM SHOP OF THE YEAR
Farmer Copley’s of Ravensknowle Farm, Pontefract
Husband and wife Robert and Heather Copley made the decision 20 years ago to start a farm shop. It is now arguably one of the most successful farm shops, cafés, special events centres in the north of England.
Their Annual Pumpkin Festival is a major attraction and this year will see over 250,000 pumpkins picked. Farmer Copley’s support of all things Yorkshire is evident throughout the farm shop. They still have livestock too with a small flock of breeding sheep, alpacas, chickens, goats and ducks.
RURAL PRODUCT OF THE YEAR
Filey Bay Single Malt Whisky
Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery is Yorkshire’s first and so far only distillery producing Single Malt Whisky and was the brainchild of arable farmer Tom Mellor of Hunmanby Grange Farm, Wold Newton. He and his late wife Gill came up with highly successful Wold Top Brewery some years earlier.
Filey Bay Single Malt’s Moscatel Finish was the specific product that was nominated for the award for its flavour. Tom’s daughter Jenni Ashwood is now marketing director for the distillery which uses malting barley from the farm.
RURAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
Yorkshire Agricultural Machinery Show
This event is now known more familiarly in farming circles as YAMS. It was started by Richard Tasker of York Auction Centre and Stephensons Rural in 2014 and now attracts over 10,000 every year with a massive display of new farm machinery equipment from tractors to combines and everything in between.
All major farm machinery producers and local suppliers attend taking over 200 tradestands. It is the largest machinery show in the north of England and will take place again on Wednesday 7 February 2024.
RURAL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Cedarbarn Farm Shop, Café & Miniature Railway
Farming couple Karl and Mandy Avison have taken Cedarbarn from its humble beginnings of PYO strawberries to an undisputed visitor centre just outside Pickering. They still supply their own home reared beef from their farm just a few miles away. They have built what is a tourist venue through the summer season and still brings customers back at all times of year.
Unique attraction is the miniature railway that sees families taking a little trip around the farm and stopping at halts for fruit picking.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Christine has been the ‘Voice of the Commentator’ for over 40 years at summer agricultural shows as far afield as the Royal Highland Show, Point to Point meetings, equestrian events of all kinds, including having commentated on every Bramham Horse Trials since its inception.
Christine commentated in the main ring of the Great Yorkshire Show for 38 years and is known for her calm, smooth, distinctive voice. She continues to commentate at one day shows such as Nidderdale Show held just a few weeks ago.
Peter Fall: The Barn That Rocks
The Surprise Award, a new award for charity work, was presented to Peter Fall of Grazing Nook Farm in Patrick Brompton for his annual live rock music night that has raised over £125,000 for various charities.
Peter, a self-confessed rock fan, his wife Barbara and family turn their barn into a rock venue one night a year when bands entertain a huge crowd. This year’s The Barn That Rocks attracted a sell out crowd of 800. Next year’s event will take place 1 June 2024.
FARM OF THE YEAR AWARD
Ian & Anna Wilson of Searchlight Farm, Nunthorpe
The seven individual Farm of the Year sector winners came together to form shortlisted nominees for the overall Farm of the Year title which went to Ian and Anna Wilson, topping a wonderful year for them.
Their commitment to sheep farming, both through Ian’s commercial flock, his further commitment to performance recording and bringing together what he feels is most marketable, plus Anna’s pedigree Kerry Hills showed them as worthy recipients for what is happening on their farm right now, which is the awards’ focus.