Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 4°C

Search
Enteries are open for the 2019 Suffolk Business Awards!

Awards night celebrates enterprising farmers

PUBLISHED: 17:08 24 October 2014 | UPDATED: 17:08 24 October 2014

Angus & Sally Scobie of E E Ulph & Co Ltd, winners of the BALE award presented by Jonathan Long, Agricultural Partner at Ashton KCJ.
Suffolk Agricultural Awards Dinner on 23-October-2014 at Trinity Park
Picture: Stephen Waller 
www.stephenwaller.com

Angus & Sally Scobie of E E Ulph & Co Ltd, winners of the BALE award presented by Jonathan Long, Agricultural Partner at Ashton KCJ. Suffolk Agricultural Awards Dinner on 23-October-2014 at Trinity Park Picture: Stephen Waller www.stephenwaller.com

© Stephen Waller

Farmers from Hampshire were full of praise for Suffolk’s agricultural sector at a celebration of the county’s and region’s farm businesses on Thursday.

Around 250 guests gathered at Trinity Park in Ipswich for the Suffolk Agricultural Association’s (SAA) agricultural awards dinnner on Thursday night, which was supported by HSBC, to hear which farmers had triumphed in the regional Best Alternative Land Enterprise (BALE) awards and the Suffolk Farm Business Competition, which is open solely to members of the SAA in Suffolk and aims to find the best farms in the county.

The Suffolk Farm Business Competition, which comprises three categories, was judged by members of the Hampshire Farmers Club who evaluated the businesses on three criteria - business management, sustainability of the business and land occupation and the social and community involvement of the projects.

Winners of Class One Farms, up to 250 hectares were last year’s winners, and the current holders of the award, Jason and Katharine Salisbury of Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses, Creeting St. Mary.

They were presented with the F W Barker Perpetual Challenge Cup and Tankard for the best farm up to 250 hectares, by Bruce Masson from Baker Tilly. The judges said the farm was “very inspirational”. “It was started from zero and now is a very successful business with a very clear business plan and very focused management at all levels. The couple recognises the need to step back from business and get time away from the farm,” the panel said.

Suffolk Farm Business Competition Class 1 Overall Winners Jason & Katharine Salissbury of J A & K E Salisbury, receive their award from category sponsors Bruce Masson (second right), of Baker Tilly & overall competition winner Alan Gray (second left), of Bunn Fertiliser Ltd.
Suffolk Agricultural Awards Dinner on 23-October-2014 at Trinity Park
Picture: Stephen Waller 
www.stephenwaller.comSuffolk Farm Business Competition Class 1 Overall Winners Jason & Katharine Salissbury of J A & K E Salisbury, receive their award from category sponsors Bruce Masson (second right), of Baker Tilly & overall competition winner Alan Gray (second left), of Bunn Fertiliser Ltd. Suffolk Agricultural Awards Dinner on 23-October-2014 at Trinity Park Picture: Stephen Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Winners of the Class Two Farms - 251-500 hectares was Porters Farms (Walpole) Ltd, Hill House Farm, Walpole, who received the Cranworth Perpetual Challenge Cup and tankard from class sponsor Chris Seppings of Hutchinsons praised the farm for its “excellent conservation, very enterprising use of renewable energy projects and good use of capital grants”. Its machinery was well maintained and organised, and it was “a very well run farm business with succession planning well in place”, judges said.

Class Three winners, for farms of more than 501 hectares, and recipients of the King George VI Memorial Challenge Cup, were John Brown and Sons, who were presented with their award by Ian Webster from sponsors Larking Gowen. They were praised for their “excellent overall business management and attention to detail”. The farm’s crops “looked fantastic and are grown with very efficient use of labour and machinery with a focus on getting the most out of every acre”, judges said. They were also impressed with the use of capital with clear vision for further expansion. It was a business, they said that “clearly knows where it has come from what its strengths are and where it is going in the future.”

The principle sponsor of the Suffolk Farms Business Competition, for the third year running was Bunn Fertiliser Ltd. Certificates were presented to the second and third prize winners in each class as well as for the best crop, best conservation and best livestock enterprise, sponsored by Koch Advanced Nitrogen, FramFarmers and Thurlow Nunn Standen Ltd, respectively.

For the second year running a prize was awarded for the education competition Suffolk’s Farming School of the Year, which was launched in spring and judged at the Suffolk Show. CLAAS general sales manager Paul Moss presented Sandy Rowe from Saxmundham Primary School with an engraved trophy that the school keeps for the year.

Suffolk Farm Business Competition Class 2 Overall Winners: Mike Porter and son, of Porters Farms (Walpole) LTD presented by Chris Seppings (left) from Class 2 sponsors Hutchinsons & Overall competition sponsor Ben Liddiard, from Bunn Fertiliser Ltd.
Suffolk Agricultural Awards Dinner on 23-October-2014 at Trinity Park
Picture: Stephen Waller 
www.stephenwaller.comSuffolk Farm Business Competition Class 2 Overall Winners: Mike Porter and son, of Porters Farms (Walpole) LTD presented by Chris Seppings (left) from Class 2 sponsors Hutchinsons & Overall competition sponsor Ben Liddiard, from Bunn Fertiliser Ltd. Suffolk Agricultural Awards Dinner on 23-October-2014 at Trinity Park Picture: Stephen Waller www.stephenwaller.com

The event, hosted by former Suffolk Show director Peter Over, included a three course dinner of seasonal and locally sourced food prepared by chef Ronnie Hayes and his team at Trinity Park Events.

Show director Bill Baker said: “Both the number and standard of entries into the farms competition this year have been incredible. The judges were impressed by the entrants’ attention to detail and professional approach towards all aspects of their business which stand them in good stead for the future, especially as we move into a period of declining commodity prices.

“The 11 entrants in the BALE award demonstrate the creative and diversification skills in the industry. No two enterprises were the same, but all were maximising the opportunities to build and develop for a sustainable future.

“A particular highlight for me this year was watching the three schools in the final of the Farming School of the Year competition meet HRH Prince Harry at the Suffolk Show. The SAA is very grateful to all the sponsors who enable us to showcase the quality of farming in this region.”

Suffolk Farm Business Competition Class 3 Overall winners Rupert (second left) and Chris Brown (second right) of John Brown & Sons presented by Ian Webster from category sponsor Larking Gowen (right) and overall competition sponsor Alan Gray (left) of Bunn Fertiliser Ltd.
Suffolk Agricultural Awards Dinner on 23-October-2014 at Trinity Park
Picture: Stephen Waller 
www.stephenwaller.comSuffolk Farm Business Competition Class 3 Overall winners Rupert (second left) and Chris Brown (second right) of John Brown & Sons presented by Ian Webster from category sponsor Larking Gowen (right) and overall competition sponsor Alan Gray (left) of Bunn Fertiliser Ltd. Suffolk Agricultural Awards Dinner on 23-October-2014 at Trinity Park Picture: Stephen Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Fruit and flower farm EE Ulph & Co of Whites Farm, Colchester, bowled over the judges of the BALE award after branching into a nursery school, retail outlet, fencing company and contract hire swimming pool to take this year’s coveted prize.

The original enterprise consisting of apple and pear trees with four acres of peonies enterprises was started by Angus Scobie’s grandfather in 1937, and is now run by Angus and Sally Scobie.

It beat off stiff competition from 10 other farm diversifications to scoop the BALE award, which was presented by sponsor and judge Jonathan Long, partner and head of agriculture and estates at law firm Ashton KCJ.

Among the panel of judges for the BALE awards were association president Clare, the Countess of Euston, and last year’s BALE winner Katharine Salisbury of Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses.

“We were all bowled over by the high standards of all the entries and the diversity of different projects, but Whites Farm stood out,” said Mrs Salisbury. “They had not lost sight of their core business - a fruit farm -established by Angus’s grandfather. They have diversified along such a different route which plays to their strengths – a nursery school in a barn, run by Sally, who has a background in Montessori, the swimming pool which is let to local groups and individuals, a woven willow fencing company, as well as a retail outlet for nursery products. The standard across all their businesses was incredibly high. As judges, we were struck by their passion which shone through everything they were doing, the obvious teamwork and their ability to seize the opportunities.”

For the first time in the award’s history, the impressive standard of entries meant there were two joint runners up - Robert and Sally Bendall for Hollow Trees Farm, and its year round programme of entertainment and education, and Nathan Nobbs for Potsford Care Farm.

Entries were submitted from throughout Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk and the Best Newcomer Award was presented to the Catchpole family for Stowlangtoft Healthcare LLP, now one of East Anglia’s premier care facilities.

Mr Long said: “It is more than 20 years ago now that we started this competition and in that time I must have judged the best part of 200 entries. It doesn’t get any easier. All the entries this year had considerable merit and I would encourage any that were not prize-winners to keep working at their enterprises and enter again another year. Judging between entries involved lengthy discussion and looking at some fine details in the rules. It is a great pleasure for Ashton KCJ to have started this competition and to continue to be so closely involved in such a successful and inspirational event.”

Judges faced a difficult choice due to the huge diversity of projects – including a care home, wood chip boiler business, events venues and care farm – and decided that since most of the enterprises were carrying out green practices and sustainability as a matter of course, not to award in this category.

SEPARATE TEXT BOX

Winners of the Suffolk Farms Business Competition

Class 1 - Farms up to 250 hectares; 1st Prize and the F W Barker Perpetual Challenge Cup and Tankard: J A & K E Salisbury, Whitegate Farm, Norwich Road, Creeting St Mary; 2nd Prize: Fletcher & Dunt, Park Farm, Charsfield, Woodbridge; 3rd Prize: Sarah Robertson, Valley Farm, Wickham Market.

Special Awards; Best Arable Crop; Roy Steward & Son; Best Livestock Enterprise; J A & K E Salisbury; Conservation: Fletcher & Dunt

Class 2 - Farms of 251- 500 hectares: 1st Prize and the Cranworth Perpetual Challenge Cup and Tankard: Porters Farms (Walpole) Ltd, Hill House Farm, Walpole, Halesworth; 2nd Prize: Robert Porch, Leylands Farm, Middle Wood Green, Stowmarket; 3rd Prize: J Grimsey, Raydon Hall, Orford, Woodbridge.

Special Awards: Best Arable Crop: J Grimsey; Best Livestock Enterprise: J Grimsey; Conservation: Porters Farms (Walpole) Ltd

Class 3 - Farms 501 hectares and over: 1st Prize and the King George VI Memorial Challenge Cup: Hardwick House, Horsecroft, Bury St Edmunds; 2nd Prize Wantisden Hall Farms, Wantisden, Woodbridge; 3rd Prize: R H Forrest & Co, Mowness Hall, Stonham Aspall, Stowmarket.

Special Awards: Best Arable Crop: R H Forrest & Co (Kielder Winter Wheat); Best Livestock Enterprise: David Black & Sons Ltd, Red House Farm

Conservation: E J Barker & Sons, Westhorpe, Stowmarket.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists