Pig producer Joe Stent from Beccles named Young Farmer of the Year

From left, Freddie Pullan and Campbell Scott of sponsor Massey Ferguson present the Young Farmer of

From left, Freddie Pullan and Campbell Scott of sponsor Massey Ferguson present the Young Farmer of the Year trophy to Joe Stent, accompanied by ceremony host Gyles Brandreth, at the 2014 Farm Business Food and Farming Industry Awards, held at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk pig producer has been named Young Farmer of the Year at an awards ceremony staged at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.

Joe Stent, from Poplar Trees Farm, near Beccles, received the honour at the 2014 Farm Business Food and Farming Industry Awards, organised by the farming website www.farmbusiness.cc .

The ceremony was held in the House of Commons members’ dining room, with the awards being presented by author, broadcaster, entertainer and former MP Gyles Brandreth.

“Joe has shown a keen eye for business opportunities, both within his main business, finishing pigs for BQP, and also for developing renewable energies and environmental schemes, growing the finishing business from 2,000 to 6,000 pigs,” his citation read.

“In order to enable this expansion Joe has invested wisely in ground, buildings and in renewables including rainwater harvesting technology. With Joe’s plans for future expansion he looks set to continue with his recent successes.”

The award was sponored by Massey Ferguson, with the trophy being presented by Campbell Scott, the company’s director of sales, engineering and brand development, and Freddie Pullan, its technical traning manager.

At the same event, Andrew Nelstrop, owner and managing director of the English Whisky Company from Roudham in Norfolk, received a “highly commended” certificate in the Family Business of the Year category.

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“This farming family over generations have grown and processed grain for over 600 years,” the citation said. “The whisky distillery was officially opened seven years ago by HRH the Prince of Wales, and they have just been awarded ‘European Whisky of the Year’ for 2014.”