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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.”

A man arrested after reportedly being armed with a gun and allegedly holding a young woman against her will at a house in Ipswich this morning has been released under investigation, pending further enquiries, police have said.

Police searching for missing Kesgrave man Paul Moore, who has not been seen for almost three weeks, have made an arrest.

Three people are due to appear in court on Monday after an elderly woman had her handbag stolen in Felixstowe town centre on Saturday afternoon.

With temperatures due to plunge and three days of snow warnings, calls are being made for neighbours to look out for the more vulnerable people in their communities.

Widespread snow has been forecast for Suffolk and Essex next week, starting on Monday morning. Find out here if your local school in Suffolk or Essex has been forced to close fully or partially on Monday.

Meet Ally – a devoted guide dog who is being forced to retire early after she was attacked six times in Suffolk.

Emergency services were called to a two-vehicle crash at a busy junction in Ipswich on Sunday night.

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