Winners Celebrated at BGS Awards Evening

Winners Celebrated at BGS Awards Evening

Monday, October 20, 2014

On 17th October the British Grassland Society held its annual awards evening celebrating the best of UK grassland farming. The event was jointly hosted with Cheshire Grassland Society as the local group of the outgoing Grassland Farmer of the Year competition winner, dairy farmer Matthew Venables, and was held at Reaseheath College.

Three exceptional finalists from distinct areas and farming systems were brought together to eagerly await the announcement of the overall 2014 winner.

The sought-after award went to Dafydd Jones who takes the prestigious trophy and title home to Maesllwyni Farm near Machynlleth in mid-Wales.

Dafydd farms sheep and beef in an organic system on land that climbs to thee-hundred meters and receives an average annual 1500 mm rainfall. Judges recognised and praised Dafydd for his attention to detail in planning use of land and buildings and for the way in which he delivers high quality end products in a sustainable manner.

This year’s two very deserving runner’s up were Sam Chesney of Coolbrae Farm, Co. Down and David Collister of Southampton Farm, Isle of Man. At the awards evening David Lee, BGS president remarked how each finalist had already achieved so much in winning their regional rounds in this year’s competition that saw a resurgence in entries.

Head Judge Glasnant Morgan said “We will all learn a lot from each of the finalists. Picking the winner was, as always, a hard decision to make. Dafydd Jones is full of optimism and is a strategist, supplying what the market wants and getting a premium price for his endeavours. He also knows his cost of production and practices self-sufficiency as far as is practical. Grassland and protein boosting clovers are used his best advantage. We are delighted and privileged to have announced him as the winner.”

The evening also saw the Young Grassland Farmer Award go to Dafydd Phillips, of Hermon Young Farmers Club, for his business plan for a start-up dairy enterprise. Dr George Fisher of BGS, who presented the award, congratulated him on demonstrating his knowledge of the industry and clear passion for building a successful future in his chosen career.

Thanks go to GrowHow UK and DLF Trifolium for their continued sponsorship of the Grassland Farmer of the Year competition and the BGS awards evening.

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