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Farming showcase celebrates host of sector’s shining stars

PUBLISHED: 13:01 23 October 2015 | UPDATED: 13:01 23 October 2015

All the winners and judges from the Suffolk Agricultural Association Awards evening at Trinity Park, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK on 22-October-2015.
Picture: Stephen Waller 
www.stephenwaller.com

All the winners and judges from the Suffolk Agricultural Association Awards evening at Trinity Park, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK on 22-October-2015. Picture: Stephen Waller www.stephenwaller.com

© Stephen Waller

Farmers from across the eastern region celebrated the industry’s shining stars at an awards event last night.

Agricultural leaders were at Trinity Park, Ipswich, for Suffolk Agricultural Association’s (SAA) annual showcase of farming excellence and innovation, which is now in its fourth year.

The SAA Awards Dinner, sponsored by HSBC, celebrates best practice from food, farming and countryside businesses across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex and reveals the winners of the SAA’s three farming competitions – the Suffolk Farm Business Competition, the Best Alternative Land Enterprise (BALE) Award and Suffolk Farming School of the Year.

First place in this year’s BALE Award competition for farm diversification projects went to the Catchpole family for residential care business Stowlangtoft Healthcare, based near Bury St Edmunds.

Hopefuls in this year’s Suffolk Farm Business Competition, recognising small, medium and large farms in separate categories, were this year judged by farmers from Newbury.

The winner of Class 1, for farms up to 250 hectares, was Fletcher and Dunt of Park Farm, Charsfield, near Wickham Market.

In Class 2, for farms up to 500 hectares, top honours went to A & R L Porch of Leylands Farm, Middlewood Green, Stowmarket.

And John Brown & Sons of Horsecroft, Bury St Edmunds, scooped the top prize in Class 3, for farms over 500 hectares category.

Suffolk’s Farming School of the Year was Bawdsey CEVC Primary School.

The Rt Hon Michael Jack CBE was guest speaker at the evening.

Suffolk Show director Bill Baker said: “This is a very important date in our calendar when we recognise the best farm businesses in our region and the enterprise shown in terms of diversification.”

More than 1,500 people responded to our survey seeking views about life in Suffolk in 2018 – and these are the results.

Suffolk’s road network and potholes emerged as a huge concern for our readers – with almost half rating the roads as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

Suffolk’s beautiful countryside, rich wildlife and our quality of life emerged as the top reasons why our readers love Suffolk.

Almost 80% of people who took part in our big Suffolk survey said they felt ‘very’ or ‘quite’ safe in the county.

The Suffolk Says survey will be hard reading for those championing the county’s town centres.

East Anglia has enjoyed the joint hottest day of the year so far - with temperatures reaching more than 30C (86F).

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