Suffolk Agricultural Association: Farming glitterati get set for this year’s industry ‘oscars’

Winners of Class 3 Farm Business Competition 2012 Christopher and Rupert Brown

Winners of Class 3 Farm Business Competition 2012 Christopher and Rupert Brown - Credit: Archant

Entries are invited for all categories in this year’s Suffolk Farm Business Competition run by the Suffolk Agricultural Association.

Last year, in a move to highlight and give more prominence to the many impressive farm management schemes carried out by farmers throughout the region, organisers introduced the first glittering agricultural awards ceremony.

Attended by more than 230 guests, the black tie event, which included prizes given for the Best Alternative Land Enterprise (BALE) awards, received widespread recognition and it was agreed to run it a second year.

Such was its success that following the event the current sponsors agreed to continue their support and several new industry sponsors came forward. Hutchinsons agronomists and Thurlow Nunn Standen, the longest serving Massy dealers in the world, have agreed to sponsor class 1 and the Best Livestock Enterprise in each category respectively. Bunn Fertiliser Ltd once again is the principal sponsor. Accountants Baker Tilly and Larking Gowen, the accountancy partnership celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, are sponsoring classes two and three respectively; Koch Advanced Nutrition the Best Crop and AtlasFram the Best Conservation Award across all categories.

The competition has three entry categories: Class 1 (up to 200 hectares), Class 2 (200-399 hectares) and Class 3 farms (over 400 hectares) It is also open to farm contractors so an owner can enter his farm which is run by a contractor for day to day operations. Contractors can enter their total business, comprising owned or hired land and any subsequent contract farming operations.

Farms are judged from first to third place in each category and winners receive a trophy. Special awards are given for Best Crop, Livestock Enterprise and Conservation and the closing date for entries is June 8.

Judges will assess the whole business and management of the farms, including enterprise management, marketing, employment and investment strategy. They also consider business sustainability of land occupation including product development, diversification and long-term development as well as the farm’s social and community involvement including local education, public land use or employment activities.

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SAA executive director Christopher Bushby said: “Last year’s competition was very well supported, and we hope to attract the same level and quality of entries again this year for this popular competition. We are delighted that the agricultural awards were very well received. It was a celebratory evening, a chance to learn from hearing about farming practices across the region and meet up after harvest. It gives me even more pleasure to announce that not only have we attracted some top class sponsors this year, but we will also be integrating some new education categories into the event. “

Farms will be visited by judges from the East of England Society on June 18 and 19 with the presentations ceremony held at Trinity Park on Thursday October 24.

Entry is £20, but entrants must be members of the Suffolk Agricultural Association.

Further details and entry forms can be obtained from Sue Bennitt at the SAA Offices on 01473 707112 or at the Suffolk Show on May 29 and 30 or by email: sue.bennitt@suffolkshow.co.uk.